PROMINENT EAR CORRECTION WITH EARFOLD®

Mr. Trinidade offers correction of prominent ears through the use of EarFold® at the Spire Wellesley Hospital. Information about what this entails is outlined below. 

What causes prominent ears?

Most cases are caused by a loss of one of the natural folds of the ear, known as the antihelix. In the picture below, the right ear can be seen to have a normal antihelical fold (arrow), whereas the absence of this fold has caused the left ear to become prominent.

How does EarFold® work to correct prominent ears?

EarFold® is a small implant designed to reposition prominent ears quickly. The implant is curved and after it is inserted into the ear under local anaesthetic it springs into shape, helping to correct the ear prominence by creating or enhancing the antihelix.

Who is EarFold® for?

Prominent ears affect around 1-2% of the UK population, and can negatively impact people's lives. Children in particular may suffer due to being teased or bullied, but adults also feel unhappy with how their ears look, which can reduce self-confidence. EarFold® has been specifically designed to treat both adults and children aged 7 or above with prominent ears, and aims to help restore self-confidence. 

What's the advantage?

Unlike with traditional ear correction surgery (otoplasty), with EarFold®, you're in control and you get to choose how your ears will look before surgery. 

During your initial consultation, you and Mr. Trinidade will discuss how you would like your ears to look. One or two temporary EarFold® positioners will then be placed on each ear and held in place with tape. This will give you the opportunity to see what your ears will look when you finally have the permanent implants inserted. When you're happy with the position of the positioners, a photo will be taken to help ensure that when the permanent implants are inserted on the day of surgery, they give you the same result. 

How does it compare with traditional ear prominence correction surgery (otoplasty)?

Prediction of outcome

Otoplasty: there is no way of predicting the outcome of an otoplasty beforehand.

EarFold®: with the use of positioners, the outcome of surgery can be fairly accurately determined in the clinic before surgery is performed.

 

Anaesthetic and procedure length

Otoplasty: this is typically performed under a general anaesthetic and takes on average 45 minutes per ear to perform.

EarFold®: as it is minimally invasive, the procedure typically takes about 30 minutes to perform (both ears) under a local anaesthetic  

 

Aftercare and recovery

Otoplasty: head bandages are needed for around one week, with bruising and swelling generally lasting up to 6 weeks; post-operative pain can be significant

EarFold®: only wound closure strips are needed, with bruising and swelling lasting for up to 2 weeks; this shorter recovery means a quicker return to work; pain is much less and usually managed with paracetamol and ibuprofen

Risks

Otoplasty: most cases of otoplasty are performed without complications, but risks include blood clots (haematomas) under the skin that can compromise the underlying cartilage or develop into an abscess (2%); ear deformity (5%), excessive scarring and keloid formation (4%) and need for revision surgery (5%)

EarFold®: complications are much less with EarFold® and include skin erosion (3%), infection (1.5%), extrusion of the implant (1%) and the need for revision surgery (4%). The implant contains nickel and there could theoretically cause a reaction in people with a nickel allergy, but to date this has not been reported

Reversibility

Otoplasty: most cases of otoplasty involve cutting or permanently weakening the cartilage of the ear and are therefore not reversible

EarFold®: with this procedure, the implant can be removed if necessary, and usually without compromise to the underlying cartilage, thus making it a reversible procedure

What is EarFold® made of?

What is EarFold® made of?

EarFold®is a thin, curved, metal implant made of nitinol, a lightweight super-elastic alloy of titanium and nickel widely used in medicine. It is just 5 mm wide by 15 mm long and is coated with 24-carat gold to reduce visibility under the skin. 

How is the surgery performed?

Please look at the video below, which explains how the procedure is performed.

Please contact Mr. Trinidade's secretary or the Spire Wellesley Hospital directly for more information about pricing and to arrange a consultation with Mr Trinidade to see if EarFold® is right for you or your child.

For more information about EarFold® please visit their website at www.earfold.co.uk.