Sticking-out ears are popularly called flap-ears or protruding ears. This common abnormality has no influence on the sense of hearing. Sticking-out ears can, however, result in psychological and social problems from an early age onwards. Luckily, sticking-out ears can be easily corrected nowadays, under local anaesthesia.
OTOPLASTY: TYPES OF STICKING-OUT EARS
Flap-ears or sticking-out ears are usually the consequence of a congenital defect of the cartilaginous skeleton of the auricle. Sticking-out ears can be the cause of three abnormalities:
– When the central fold in the ear, also called the antihelix, is underdeveloped the auricle itself sticks out. The solution for this problem is remodelling the cartilage.
– The edge of the ear can also be too short. Little, so-called bowl-shaped ears are the most difficult kind to correct.
– When the body of the auricle is overdeveloped it results in fully sticking-out ears. This type of flap-ears is often coupled with the two abnormalities mentioned above.
OTOPLASTY: THE TREATMENT OF STICKING-OUT EARS
As above-mentioned typology already surmised, sticking-out ears can be very different from one person to another. Otoplasty, or the treatment of sticking-out ears, is therefore a very individual procedure.
Otoplasty is the correction of the form of the cartilaginous skeleton by making an incision at the back of the auricle. The surgeon corrects the cartilage, remodels it and sometimes even removes a tiny piece. This way, he reduces the angle of the ear in relation to the head. Afterwards, the small incision is carefully closed and a special bandage is applied so that the ear will hold its proper position.
Otoplasty takes about an hour, under local anaesthesia.
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