EARFOLD: minimally invasive surgery of Prominent Ears

Today patients are looking for treatments that can be performed with less invasive surgical techniques. Women and men are seeking simpler techniques and rapid recovery, so plastic surgeons update our techniques and adapt to the social demand. We are aware that patients are demanding good results with less economic, labor and social cost, with a quick recovery.

Earfold is one of these treatments are called to become among the most requested, by those affected by a malformation of the ears known as “protruding ears”, “prominent ears” or “ear pinning”.

This malformation is sweeping of one or both pinnae they see increased separation of the head, creating a more open angle and increased visibility of them. The cause is usually lack of training the fold of cartilage (fold anti-helical) located between the helical fold or helix, which is the outermost part of the ear, and the shell or hollow which gives rise to the external auditory canal.

A NEW DEVICE

This is the earFold®.

The medical industry, with plastic surgeons, is in continuous research and development of new devices. This is a new development which already have in our clinic and that will simplify and make available to everybody, the correction of the “prominent ears” as an alternative to otoplasty.

HOW IT WORKS

EarFold® is a medical implant designed as a short metal strip made of a nickel titanium alloy (nitinol). This alloy has been widely used in medicine for years, for example, devices known as stents coronary. The implant consists of a thin curved strip of metal covered with a gold plated to reduce their visibility under the skin.

It is designed to be biologically compatible and to be left permanently in place.

Using a simple procedure under local anesthesia, and in less than twenty minutes, without hospital expenses and a rapid recovery, those selected patients with this problem in their ears will be able to enjoy a simple solution.

EarFold® is introduced under the skin of the ear through a small incision of less than 1 cm under local anesthesia. The right place for placement is determined by the surgeon beforehand, using some external testers, showing the patient what will be the result after insertion, so that the wishes of patients are taken into account without doubts.

Once inserted under the skin, the implant tightens the ear cartilage and forces to immediately adopt the pre-defined shape of the curved metal strip. This creates or enhances anti-shape helical pleat forcing the cartilage that is molded with the shape of the implant.

EarFold® remains unmoving and continues its influence on the shape of the cartilage, ensuring the new shape of the ear.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES?

  • It is a minimally invasive procedure performed in less than 20 minutes ambulatory local anesthesia, without hospitalization.
  • It offers an immediate correction and rapid recovery.
  • The results are predictable and permanent, with minimal discomfort to the patient.
  • It has fewer side effects than conventional surgery, otoplasty.

FOR WHOM IS SUITABLE?

It is mainly indicated in patients unwilling to undergo more aggressive surgery, and do not have multiple malformations of the pinna.

It is also indicated in children who may be operated under local anesthesia, although it is possible that growth should change their implants through a new and simple intervention parts. The implant after more than nine months may produce permanent results.

WHO CAN MAKE THE TREATMENT?

Any specialist in plastic surgery that have previously received adequate training in the placement of these new devices, and has been accredited by Allergan.

Dr. Julio Terrén was the first plastic surgeon appointed by Allergan, distribution company in Spain, for the use of earFold® in Valencia and Castellon, and to train other specialists in this innovative treatment.

Sources: Northwood InnovationLtd- Allergan Medical SA

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