About the procedure
Correction of protruding ears (Otoplasty) is a common operative procedure that can be done in children, i.e. from the age of 7, seeing as the ears develop until that point in life. We perform procedures on children up to the age of 12 under general anaesthesia, in order to avoid any discomfort in patients, and patients older than 12 are generally operated under local anaesthesia. A correctly performed procedure and reconstruction of the ear cartilage signify a permanent solution to the problem of protruding ears.
Unlike classical methods of otoplasty where a small cut along the entire length behind the ear is made and wearing a bandage around patients ears over a period of several days after the procedure is neccessery, EARFOLD implants solves the problem of protruding ears in a simple procedure which takes approximately 15 minutes with the minimum local anesthesia, and does not require wearing any bandages, so the patient can return to his everyday activities the very next day.
EARFOLD IMPLANT is an implant made of a short strip of nitinol metal alloy. Nitinol alloy is made of two metals, titanium and nickel, and is widely used in medicine. It is the same material that is used for coronary artery stents (for patients with heart disease due to a blockage of their arteries) and also for unbreakable spectacle frames. The implant consists of a curved, wafer-thin strip of metal (approximately the same thickness as a human hair) which is plated with 24-carat gold to reduce the visibility of the implant under the skin.
This method is patented and designed by a British plastic surgeon Professor Norbert Kang and Dr. Glumičić is the first doctor who was training with Dr. Kang and got EARFOLD Certificate Installation for EARFOLD implants.
Beside shortened time of the operation and the very rapid recovery the superiority of this method lies in the fact that the possibility of complications that can follow the classical method of otoplasty (keloid formation, asymmetry of the ears , loss of skin sensitivity , etc. .. ) is largely reduced.
By the beginning of November 2013, EARFOLD IMPLANTS procedure could be carried out only in the Royal Free Hospital in London. Today Glumičić Medical Group and Dr. Glumičić has become the only institution with the London hospital in the world that uses EARFOLD implant.
If the procedure is to be performed under general anaesthesia, it is necessary to perform the complete laboratory testing, as well as an ECG and an examination by an internist and/or anaesthesiologist, and if the procedure is to be performed under local anaesthesia, it is sufficient to do a blood analysis and possibly a coagulogram. The preparation of the patient prior to the procedure itself will also depend on the type of anaesthesia, which will be explained to you in detail by our staff.
Otoplasty procedures are generally performed under local anaesthesia, which is administered behind the ear, into the so-called incision area. General anaesthesia is recommended for children under the age of 12 in order to avoid any discomfort or fear. The administration of anaesthesia is short due to the short duration of the procedure itself.
Once your ears have been numbed with a local anaesthetic injection, a small incision is made at the edge of your ear. The earFoldTM implant is supplied with a pre-loaded, disposable introducer. The surgeon will slide the introducer under the skin and release the implant in the correct position. Releasing the implant takes only a few seconds. Once the implant has been released, it grips the cartilage of the ear and immediately folds it into a pre-determined shape. One or two stitches are then used to close the skin incision.The whole procedure to treat two ears takes approximately 15-20 minutes. Patients will be able to see an immediate change in the prominence of their ears after treatment.
There are multiple operation techniques for correcting otapostasis, i.e. the problem of protruding ears. The surgeon will suggest the best approach at your first examination, and the procedure is always performed through a generally invisible incision placed in the crease behind the ear. The reconstruction of the ear cartilage is sometimes necessary in order to secure permanent results. The operative procedure lasts around 1 hour, it is completely painless, and in the case of administration of local anaesthesia, patients can leave the polyclinic as soon as 20 minutes after the performed procedure.
Bulky dressings are not required after the treatment has been performed and healing occurs within days.
After the procedure, the ears are bandaged, i.e. a special compression bandage is placed around the ears to be worn for the next 24-48 hours. After the bandage is removed, wearing an elastic band around the ears is recommended, especially during the night for a period of two weeks after the surgery. After all the stitches placed in the crease behind the ear have been removed and the wound has completely healed, there is no need for wearing the elastic band any longer.