A small procedure with a great impact!
Corrective ear surgery is usually done to set prominent ears closer to the head or to reduce the size of large ears. Mental anguish due to protruding ears is eliminated both quickly and permanently.
A preferred technique for ear corrective surgery is a combination of incision and suture techniques, as it offers the most precise cartilage shaping. The combination of incisions and sutures sculpt the cartilage into a new shape. The reason why many surgeons prefer a combined technique is because the advantages of each technique can be enjoyed, and disadvantages avoided. The fact that the incisions are made behind the ears, allows surgery to be particularly discrete.
The surgeon exposes the cartilage and then marks the new fold of the ear with a needle, by superficially scoring or pinpricking. In addition, excision of a piece of the ear hollow’ cartilage (cavum conchae) is often necessary to reduce the ear size further.
The cut in the cartilage is gripped with a suture. The new fold appears with the tightening of the suture. Finally, the wound is stitched up.
Further techniques of ear corrective surgery are biomechanical adaptations of cartilage and various other suture techniques.
The selected technique is determined by the surgeon after discussion with the patient.
With biomechanical techniques, not only does the suture sculpt the cartilage into a new shape, but the cartilage’s structure is actually changed, so that the ear shape adapts itself. With this technique, the stitches are only used for the fixation of the wound until the healing procedure is complete. It is the change of the cartilage’s elasticity which leads to the results. With this technique, the cartilage is exposed and then scored over a large area. Thereafter, the pinna is weakened which increases elasticity and allows the ear to be bent back easier. With suture techniques, the risk of problems with healing and unsightly formations of kinking is lower than with incision techniques.
In some cases, when ear cartilage is particularly elastic, scoring can be avoided and only stitches are used to fold the cartilage back on itself. Although in most cases, the cartilage is abraded and therefore made suppler.