The incidence of prominent ear in children is approximately 5% (one out of every 20 children). This condition that seems sweet to the family during the childhood changes due to the cruel comments made by the friends of their child, when he/she reaches school-age. Having prominent ears begins to affects the child's school and social life. Therefore, prominent ear should be corrected before the child reaches school-age.
Prominent ear is an inherited problem, i.e. children whose mother or father has prominent ears are more likely to have this problem. It is more common in Celtic and Japanese people. It is observed with the same incidence rates in women and men. However, it affects boys more than girls because girls can conceal it with their hair.
In children with congenital prominent ear problem, the cartilage of the ear is soft, and this allows for the correction of the prominent ear deformity by means of the molding and banding procedures; however, these treatment procedures should be performed within the first 3 months, when the cartilages can be reshaped. Treatments administered after this period fail.
When the child reaches the age of three, the pinna reaches 85% of the adult size. The ideal age for prominent ear surgery is between 4 and 6 years. Doing the surgical operation at an early age prevents the child from being psychologically injured, and allows for reshaping the cartilage more easily when they are soft.
Prominent ear surgery is a surgical procedure performed by making an incision behind the ear. Prominent ears are corrected by weakening and reshaping the cartilages with special techniques and suturing methods. With this procedure, the scar is located behind the ear, the cartilage is not cut, no skin part is removed from behind the ear, swelling is too limited, and the results are permanent.
The ears can be expected to slightly unbend after prominent ear surgery. Adults are at a greater risk than children in this regard. When the surgery is performed with a proper method, and if a bandage is used for an adequate period of time, the risk is minimized.
- An elastic bandage is wrapped after surgery.
- Patients are discharged the same day.
- The bandage can be removed 2 days after surgery, and then the patient begins to wear a head band worn by tennis players. The band should be worn regularly for 1 week, and then should be worn at home (also when sleeping) for 2 to 3 weeks.
- Patients can have a bath after the removal of the bandage.
- The ears should be protected from accidental impact and pulling in the first 3 weeks.
- The problems that may be encountered after surgery are hemorrhage and suture dehiscence.
- The risk of bleeding can be minimized by applying a bandage after surgery.