Ask a doctor

What is your opinion on the use of earFold implants for otoplasty?

My surgeon says they wouldn't work because cartilage cannot be moulded after three months and that the implant would fall off anyway...

Doctor Answers (2)

What is your opinion on the use of earFold implants for otoplasty?

+1
There has not been enough long-term experience of the EarFold implants up till now.
There is another minimally invasive ear pinning method, the so-called stitch method, that is even less invasive than the Earfold surgery. Compared to the Earfold surgery, the stitch method has the following advantages:
  • 1.Incisions on the front of the ear are not necessary by the stitch method; there are only stitch points, in contrast to incisions, that always heal without scars.
  • 2.There is the question whether the metal implant of the EarFold method is bent when lying on the ear, thus causing the ear to return to its original position. With the stitch method, the position of the ears is not changed if one lies or sleeps on them.
  • 3.With the Earfold surgery, a large cavum conchae must be reduced by the excision of cartilage, i.e. it must be combined with a traditional method. This is not necessary with the stitch method.
  • 4.With the EarFold Surgery and in patients with thin skin, the metal colour can be visible through the skin even if the implant itself is not prominent.
  • 5.If the metal implant has to be removed due to intolerance, you must count on the ear returning to its original protruding position.
  • 6.The occasionally observed sensitivity problems with the EarFold method do not occur with the stitch method.
  • 7.With the stitch method, there are meanwhile long-term results over a time period of 18 years based on more than 8000 operated ears. With the Earfold surgery, there is only a limited experience of less than 100 ears over 2 to 3 years.  



Germany Plastic Surgeon

Ear fold

+1
Thus far, the science does not support the alue of trying to mold cartilage after infancy. Neither does the experience support it. Until their is good evidence of a mothod that predictably and permanently owrks, I would not recommend exploring those options.

Robert H. Hunsaker, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.