The phenomenon of protruding ears is a congenital shape deviation of the outer ear. There is no functional disadvantage attached to it, but it often leads to social and personal issues.
Especially at child’s age, protruding ears are a classic cause for bullying, which in the long term can put the child in a state of insecurity and a poor self-image.
However, this aesthetic deviation can be remedied by simple intervention from the age of four years . This operation is called ‘otoplasty’ or correction of protruding ears.
Protruding ears have two characteristics, which can occur together or separately: usually one of the ‘folds’ of the earcup is insufficiently formed, sometimes the ‘bowl’ of the earcup is too deep.
These two characteristics are corrected by giving the cartilage a more attractive shape and stabilizing it internally. The result is a normally shaped auricle that connects closer to the head. An asymmetry is often also present, both in form and in dimensions. The shape can be made as symmetrical as possible, but the dimensions of the ear cannot be changed without very drastic operations.
The surgery can be done under local or general anaesthesia. Children are always operated under general anaesthesia, adults can choose.
The incision is made at the back of the earcup. The surgeon loosens the skin from the cartilage of the outer ear and gives a new shape to the cartilage with wires/sutures. Then the cut behind the ear is cosmetically closed and the procedure is rounded off with a special bandage that is applied by the surgeon. It is important that this dressing is not removed: it limits the swelling and keeps the ears in a good position.
After removal of the bandage, you should wear an elastic bandage for two weeks at night, to avoid your ear shell fold in your sleep.