Ear Prominence is thought to affect 1-2% of the UK population. Earfold® is an alternative treatment for prominent ears. It is minimally invasive and is carried out under local anaesthesia with immediate reshaping and rapid recovery.
In this blog, Mr. Tiago answers some questions frequently asked by his patients. It is hoped that this information will be useful for anyone considering having an Earfold® procedure.
Who can be treated with Earfold® and is there an age limit?
Earfold® is suitable for adults and children who suffer from prominent ears but there are limitations for some age groups. It is designed to be of most benefit to patients with prominent ears that are caused by the poor development of the anti-helical fold. The Earfold® implant is also an excellent solution for people with asymmetric ears; (one ear is more prominent than the other).
What are the limitations of Earfold®?
In some cases, prominence can be due to a very deep conchal bowl. In such cases, Earfold® may be able to improve the problem, but will not correct it altogether. It’s important to understand and predict this limitation and this will be discussed with you at your initial consultation.
How many implants are normally needed?
There is only one size of Earfold® implant and each patient has different ear sizes and expectations. Therefore, the number of implants required cannot be determined until a full assessment has been carried out. Depending on the correction needed, more than one earFold implant may be used in each ear.
What is the biggest advantage of earFold?
There are a number of advantages, but for me it’s the predictability. “What you see is what you get.” Using the Pre-Fold it is easy to make adjustments as it can be moved around the ear until the desired shape is achieved. The patient has full control and gets to choose the final result.
How long does the surgery take?
The surgery time will always depend on the number of implants needed to be inserted but the insertion of an Earfold® implant takes around 20 min.
How will it feel to have implants in the ears?
Most patients will forget about the implants one to two weeks after the insertion. Earfold® is made from a lightweight metal alloy called nitinol. It’s a super-elastic material that always goes back to the initial shape. The ears can still move in a natural way and keep the desired shape. Remember that Earfold® implants are bio-compatible and are designed to be left in place permanently. That said, if for any reason the patient is not completely happy or we have a Clinical need to remove the implants, they can be easily removed.
Will I need to take time off work?
I advise my patient to take at least 3 days off work as bruising and stitches remain. But as Earfold® has been designed to be minimally invasive, there are no bandages and pain subsides in 24-48 hours. You should be able to return to work as soon as you feel comfortable.
Can you see the implants after they’ve been inserted?
Earfold® implants are coated with 24-carat gold to reduce visibility under your skin, they cannot be easily seen. They can be seen in the first few days because of the bruising.
Is it painful?
The procedure is carried out under Local Anaesthetic so the ear is numb. I advise my patients to take pain killers for the first few days following the Earfold® procedure. There is a period of getting used to the different positioning of the ears and, believe it or not, the sounds. Changing the ear shape will make the sound travel into the inner ear in a different way, giving the appearance of coming from a different place. It will only take a few hours to get used to this and your balance will not be affected.
If you are considering Earfold® as a solution to correcting prominent ears, please give us a call on 0151 669 1114. Our experienced customer care team will be happy to answer any questions. Alternatively use the online form to book a free consultation.