The new personal technique for otoplasty , that is, surgical correction of the prominent ears , was for the first time designed in 1999 and improved and standardised in February 2000. It has so far been applied to 707 individuals presenting this kind of deformity in Greece and the Balkans. The results are clearly better with the new technique.Among these cases, in three male patients it was necessary to perform the old technique, in association with the new technique, in order to remove some excess of cartilage as the size of their ears was larger than normal.
The new technique helps to avoid the existing problems of the previous methods, such as excessive oedema (swelling), standard post-auricular incision and consequently the existing post-operative scar and other complications such as possible haematomas or infections which normally can occur with the usual techniques. The concept of the new technique is based on the idea of refolding the cartilaginose skeleton of the auricle stabilizing it into a new position closer to the skull.
To achieve this, a small hole is made at the rear part of the auricle. Through this hole and with the aid of a small special spear-shaped instrument we can loosen the memory of the cartilage and we can attain the ear , thus giving it a natural Y-type shape characterizing the ears of people who do not have this aesthetic problem. Immediately afterwards, through six very small openings hidden in the re-folds of the front part of the auricle, three fine stitches of absorvable material are placed underneath the skin, maintaining the new shape that has been attained with the ear cartilage being in the right place, without however the previous operation ever been felt. This technique ends with the individual observing the shape of his new ear in a mirror at the moment of the operation, thus being able to assist with his views in the final result.
Details which had not been observed prior to the operation can be detected at this moment, that is, large auricles, larger size than normal, cartilage protrusion, abnormal shape and so on. Therefore the technique may be readjusted according to the wishes of the interested person, since the ideal and desired result on one of the ears has been attained. Consequently the technique can be repeated on the other ear in the bid to achieve symmetry. This operation is done very quickly (in 20") in the environment of a small outpatient operating theatre and with local anaesthesia, without risks for the health of the interested person, since complications, such allergy, haemorage or infections cannot possibly occur with this technique. The new otoplasty surgery can be applied to children of any age, since it does not interfere with the size of the ear, although it is known that the proportionate size of this organ is considered almost final at the age of six.
This technique can of course, be performed on only part of the ears (placing one stitch only) in the case of children at school age in order to improve the child's psychology and protect it from problems with other kids that do not have this deformity. Later, in puberty our intervention can be finalized with all the combinations we mentioned above. The technique does not require bandages or absence from work or school, it does not present postoperative pain, there are no external stiches to be removed afterwards, since it is based on internal shaping of the anatomy of the ear skeleton only, without removing any skin of this organ.
This technique can of course be changed into the usual one, at the moment of the operation. Some retouching was necessary in 10% of our cases(placing or removing one stitch for symmetry between the ears).
The new otoplasty is a very easy and useful technique for everyone suffering from prominent ears, and postponed their repair untill now, fearing eventual post-operation complications or discomfort. The important contribution of this technique is practically the abasence of retroauricullar incision and only one night of compression bandage around the head used by the patient instead of many days of discomfort with the classical technique.
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