What is the Earfold implant?

The Earfold implant is a new method for correcting prominent ears in a much more simple and minimally invasive manner than for a traditional pinnaplasty.

The implant itself is made of a titanium and nickel alloy, coated with a gold outer layer. It is shaped in a permanent curve such that it holds the ear back in a more pinned back position. The titanium and gold components are particularly inert, meaning that they do not cause a rejection or irritation reaction to occur.

Will I be suitable for Earfold?

This really depends on why your ears are prominent as there is often more than one reason for this. It also depends on how far forward your ears are protruding. These factors will be discussed with you during the consultation.

A traditional pinnaplasty can achieve a greater degree of ‘pinning-back’ of the ears than Earfold alone, however this comes at the cost of requiring a general anaesthetic, longer procedure and recovery period. The beauty of Earfold is that you have a chance to see how your ears should look after the operation by trying the prefold implant in the clinic consultation, giving you more reassurance and certainty as to the eventual appearance. The final decision will however be made by you, with guidance from your surgeon, as everyone’s ears are different.

What are the complications of Earfold?

You should not experience many problems at all after any kind of pinnaplasty. After Earfold, there may be some mild discomfort, and it is possible to get a little bleeding from the wound and possibility of infection although unlikely. The main risk or concern is that it is not always possible to guarantee that the ears will return to a cosmetically perfect position; in fact it is not unusual for there to be a slight difference in the appearances of the two ears, which in any case exists naturally in most people.

However with Earfold, this should be noted at the time of the initial consultation so you are pre-prepared. This ability to predict more accurately the eventual result of the operation using a pre-fold sample at the initial consultation is an advantage of the Earfold system. This reduces the chance of a result which you were not expecting. Even despite this, the Earfold implant can be removed if you really do not like it.

Why should I consider Earfold as opposed to traditional pinnaplasty?

These are the key advantages of the Earfold implant:

– Owing to the simplicity of the surgery, the operation only takes 15 minutes per ear instead of 40 minutes per ear for conventional pinnaplasty

– Recovery is faster, typically you require only 2-3 days off work compared with 1-2 weeks for traditional pinnaplasty

– The surgery is routinely performed under a local anaesthetic, in contrast to most traditional pinnaplasty procedures which require a general anaesthetic

– You do not need a heavy head bandage on the head after the procedure, unlike for traditional pinnaplasty. You will still however need to use a light sports-type band at night for the first 6 weeks as for traditional pinnaplasty

– Complications are few as no stitches or long incisions are used

– You can see how your ears will look by using the Prefold implant during the initial consultation. This is placed on the outside of your ear and will show you the likely end result following the surgery. This ability to see the eventual result is not possible with traditional pinnaplasty

– In theory the implant can be removed in the future, therefore the procedure is technically reversible unlike for traditional pinnaplasty

What does an Earfold operation entail?

A local anaesthetic is injected into the skin in front of the ear, just underneath the outer rim. A small incision is made, and the Earfold implant is then inserted into a carefully prepared pocket. The cut is then stitched with dissolvable sutures. The procedure takes approximately 15 minutes per ear.

What is the aftercare after Earfold?

A light dressing may be applied over the incisions. You will be advised to wear a sports-type head band at night for the first 6 weeks and to keep the ears clean and dry for the first week. Occasional pain killers may be needed as required.

Book your consultation today

Paul Chatrath
Consultant Rhinologist / Facial Plastic & ENT Surgeon
150 Harley Street