Prominent ears, protruding ears or “protruding” ears are a congenital malformation quite common in contemporary society.. This feature is considered present when the ear projects more than 21-30 degrees (20 in children, 25 in the elderly and 30 in adults) from the auriculo-encephalic angle.
The etiology of this aesthetic “failure” is mainly hereditary, as it is an autosomal dominant trait with variable penetrance. It is estimated that up to 59% of affected individuals have a family history of this trait, representing approximately 5% of the total population. By mere social constructs, lop ears have been correlated on multiple occasions with a lack of confidence, low self-esteem and fear of rejection.
In addition, this aesthetic trait has been found to be one of the main triggers of depression during childhood. It is therefore not surprising to learn that otoplasties (ear surgeries) are very common in children between the ages of 8 and 14.. If you want to know all about this procedure, read on.
What is ear surgery or otoplasty?
The otoplasty is a very simple surgical process of aesthetic nature, whose purpose is to reshape or reduce the size of the ears.. This is done so that the patient’s facial structure shows greater symmetry and, therefore, can improve their external image and personal confidence.
Otoplasty is common in patients of any age, gender and ethnicity, although it is not recommended before the age of 8 years, because the patient’s physiology has not fully stabilized and the effects may not be as desired. In any case, the issue of aesthetic interventions in underage children is a bit complex, since it is always the individual himself who decides to take the step, and not his parents.
The intervention only requires a previous character in the patient: having ears that are too wide apart, asymmetrical or large.. Also included under the umbrella of otoplasty are reconstruction procedures after an injury or even the placement of an artificial structure when the ear is completely missing. Since these last interventions are not aesthetic but pathological in nature, we will leave them for another opportunity.
Why have ear surgery?
If you are reading this out of mere curiosity, you may find it strange that a person with protruding ears would decide to undergo surgery. a person with protruding ears would decide to undergo a surgical intervention, right?right? Perhaps the following facts and figures will change your mind.
Studies carried out with large samples of patients with protruding ears show us some revealing data:
- 8 out of 10 respondents think that their physiology can be a source of ridicule or derogatory comments.
- Moreover, 54% of all of them acknowledge having been teased about their ears at some point in their lives.
- In 47% of patients, this teasing resulted in psychological distress to a greater or lesser degree.
- Seventy-seven percent say that the social pressure of having protruding ears could lead to social isolation.
In addition, almost half of the respondents admit to changing their hairstyles and lifestyle solely for the purpose of disguising their ear structure. Likewise, up to 45% of those who suffer from this condition look favorably on undergoing an intervention to solve this problem.However, there are multiple monetary impediments.
What does this operation consist of?
First of all, it is necessary to know that ear surgery is approached very differently depending on the type of surgery. is approached very differently depending on the purpose of the procedure.. There are 3 main variants. We will tell you about them in a few lines.
1. Separated ear surgery
This procedure is performed in those patients with protruding ears, that is to say, “too far” from the face. Since the deformity is usually due to excess cartilage or a lack of cartilage sculpting, the most common route is to make an incision in the back of the ear and sculpt the ear so that it appears less prominent.
The cartilage may be folded back if the problem is a lack of sculpting or, alternatively, a segment may need to be removed if there is an excess of cartilage. Once the correction is made, stitches are applied and a scar is formed, which will be imperceptible in the long term. The procedure lasts about 90 minutes, anesthesia is local and full recovery is achieved in 2-7 days..
2. Ear reduction surgery
This operation can be done in combination with the previous one or on its own. In this case the size of the ear is reduced by intervening on the auricle, the auricular tubercle or the auricular tubercle.the auricular tubercle or in both areas.
3. Non-invasive treatments
These types of procedures do not fall under the definition of surgery, but it is necessary to take them into account, in order to inform patients about all possible options. There are over-the-counter products that act as “glues” or “plasters” for the ears, among them “Otostick Corrector Estético De Orejas”, available in any online drugstore.
Although they are skin-friendly and resistant to sweat and water, they are still temporary solutions that last only a short time. temporary solutions that last little more than a few hours.. Due to their price and low usefulness, their use is not recommended in professional clinics.
What to expect?
Ear surgeries are for life, so once they are performed, there is no going back. The ideal is to think beforehand if you really want to take the step and, if the person who wants to undergo the operation is a minor, allow them to talk about their problems and insecurities with a professional in the psychological field. Although it is a minimally invasive procedure that does not entail a psychological burden, it never hurts to take precautions..
Beyond the aesthetic effects of the operation, we cannot forget that there are risks inherent to it. Among them, we find the following:
- Excessive bleedingTo avoid it, it is forbidden for the patient to take aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs up to 2 weeks before the operation.
- InfectionAlthough unlikely, the stitches that give rise to the scar may cause an infection in the ear.
- AsymmetryNo face is perfectly symmetrical, so the result obtained may not be 100% perfect.
- Tenderness and pain in the affected areaThese are rare, but should be reported anyway.
Can I go deaf after otoplasty?
This is one of the most common questions, and the answer is that it is virtually impossible to go deaf after otoplasty. it is practically impossible to become deaf after ear surgery.. You should keep in mind that an otoplasty modifies the external part of the ears (the pinna), but does not touch the ear canal per se. Therefore, the risk of hearing loss is simply non-existent, unless serious infections occur and spread to internal structures.
What can happen is that you, as the patient, may perceive sounds a little differently after the operation. After all, the ears are the receptacle for the reception of sound waves, so any modification of the ears may slightly change the sense of hearing.
We can’t give you an exact figure, but, browsing the web, you will find prices starting at 1,800 euros.. This monetary value depends very much on the patient’s condition, since it does not cost the same for a unilateral otoplasty than for a bilateral one, for example.
As a general rule (for a correction of both auricles), the average price is around 3,500 euros. Earlier we said that there is a clear monetary barrier to undergo this procedure: now you understand why.
As you may have noticed, protruding ears are a serious problem for the self-esteem of those who have them. Especially in childhood, this completely innocuous feature from a physiological point of view is a source of laughter and ridicule, which can translate into psychological problems in the infant in the long term. Therefore, many otoplasties many otoplasties are performed on children and adolescents..
In the end, it is up to each individual to decide whether it is worth investing a significant sum of money to solve a personal insecurity issue. We have given you the facts: the final decision, as always, is up to you.