Prominent ears are one of the most common congenital anomalies that people desire to improve. Characteristics perceived as odd or unusual often have out-of-proportion facial features, such as ears that are too large and that stick out.
Here in Double Bay, otoplasty, also known as prominent ear surgery or ear correction surgery, is a sought after procedure among those who have prominent ears.
Surgical correction of prominent ears was first reported in 1845, and since then, over 200 techniques have been reported with varying results. The traditional approach to ear correction was challenged in early 1990, when it was shown that ear correction could be successfully accomplished without cutting to open the front and back of the ear, cutting the cartilage or removing skin from the back of the ear. Long term post-operative bandages and headbands were also found to be unnecessary.
At Dr Zurek, our ear correction surgery for our Double Bay patients is in line with the current trend, which is to minimise intervention, keep it simple, and reduce downtime as well as the risk of complications.
With Dr Zurek, the otoplasty procedure is performed under local anaesthetic and oral sedation. It takes about 1 hour to complete.
No cutting is required as special sutures are “woven” into the ear under the skin though small punctures; the sutures remain permanently and are not visible or palpable after a short healing time.
The results are instant with no scarring, although it is recommended that you wear a tennis-style headband in bed for 1-2 weeks.
Thanks to the very short downtime involved with our ear correction surgery, many of our Double Bay patients return to work after just a couple of days. As a general rule, we prefer not to perform prominent ear surgery on children under 6 years old because by this age, the ear would only have reached 80% of its adult size.
Instead, Dr Zurek recommends that our young patients from Double Bay get prominent ear surgery only later in life, when the child is able to cooperate during treatment and otoplasty can be performed under local, instead of general, anaesthesia.
The earlobes represent an important cosmetic unit and are considered aesthetically pleasing when they are not obvious, but elegantly shaped and proportional in size.
Earlobe shapes can be classified in three basic outlines and attachments:
At Dr Zurek, our patients from Double Bay come to us with a wide range of ear correction surgery requests. Common earlobe conditions that can be improved by surgery include:
Pixie earlobes are generally related to previous facelift surgery procedures or congenital causes. Correction of this ear deformity is complex. Fortunately for our patients from Double Bay, Dr Zurek is often able to perform ear correction surgery for this condition during his facelift procedure.
For those of our patients with large earlobes, this can be addressed by several techniques. However, Dr Zurek’s preferred approach involves double wedge excision, which is like taking two separate little “pieces of pie” out of the lobes. This allows adjustments to the length of the earlobe, and is our ear correction surgery method of choice when it comes to treating large earlobes.
For those with aged and thin earlobes, Dr Zurek is able to perform ear correction surgery that involves fat grafting to resolve this condition. For all three types of earlobe correction described here, the scars are expected to be imperceptible within several weeks.