An otoplasty is a surgical procedure that can correct the appearance of the ears. This procedure allows the surgeon to modify ear shape, size and projection, working on congenital defects (like protruding ears) or trauma-induced flaws (i.e. car accidents, dog bites) or flaws from tumour removal. Generally, otoplasty improves ear protrusion without affecting the pinna, which can only be reduced through incisions that will leave small visible scars. In the opposite case, where the pinna needs to be reconstructed, Prof. Dini will perform a very complicated and demanding procedure, using cartilage that is surgically removed from the ribs, nasal septum or contralateral ear.
Otoplasty is a procedure that can be done on any patient, even if they are very young. Protruding ears are an aesthetic flaw that can deeply affect the patient’s social life and be a source of embarrassment from a young age.
For this reason, otoplasties can be done even on children from the age of 6, which is generally when they become aware of their bodies and can voice their inner discomfort.
Deserving of a separate mention are surgical otoplasty procedures performed to correct malformations existing from birth or caused by serious trauma that must be evaluated case by case.
During the pre-operative visit, Professor Dini will reach a decision with the patient regarding the desired result, carefully evaluating the shape and size of the ears and explaining the surgical technique he intends to use. The visit also has the purpose of understanding the patient’s overall health and lifestyle (alcohol, smoking, etc.) so as to exclude factors that could affect the results of the operation.
Otoplasty is a relatively simple and completely painless surgical procedure. It is done as an outpatient procedure and takes about two hours.
In children, Prof. Mario Dini always recommends doing the procedure under general anaesthesia, while in adults, operating under local anaesthesia with sedation is sufficient.
The incisions needed to reposition the ears are made behind the pinna and are, therefore, invisible as they are hidden by the hair.
When the procedure is complete, Professor Dini applies a turban-like dressing, the purpose of which is to lightly compress the ears and which must be worn for 2-3 days. After that time, patients must wear an elastic headband 24 hours a day for about a week and then only at night for another 3-4 weeks so as to protect the ears while sleeping.
Aesthetic otoplasty results are permanent and greatly satisfying to patients who, thanks to having this flaw corrected, often improve their appearance, acquire new self confidence and are better able to deal with interpersonal relationships.
The EarFold technique is a new medical device that corrects “jug ears”, offered by the Allergan company.
Suitable for adults and children ages 7 and up, the EarFold device creates a new antihelical fold or accentuates the existing fold, correcting the protrusion and flaws of the ears.
Current treatment possibilities are limited to the more conventional approach (otoplasty); as such, the development of a revolutionary device like EarFold is an important step forward that allows and will allow aesthetic flaws in ears to be corrected with simple local anaesthesia, even in the doctor’s office without going into the operating room.