PROMINENT EARS

Prominent ears are more commonly referred to as "sticky-outy ears", "bat ears", "bak oore" or "wingnuts". For some people their prominent ears are a feature that gives them a certain charm but for others their ears are the focus of much derision. 

Prominent earsMY NEW BABY HAS PROMINENT EARS, WHAT CAN I DO?

Prominent ears are usually apparent at or shortly after birth. If detected early (within the first few days after birth), the ears can be moulded into a more pleasing shape using various splinting materials. The splinting needs to continue for about a month. If splinting is started after the first week of birth then there is not much success using this method. 

HOW AND WHEN CAN PROMINENT EARS BE CORRECTED?

The only other way to correct prominent ears is with surgery. One usually waits until the child is at least five years old before performing an operation so that the cartilage has matured and can be shaped more easily (there is also a potential risk of impairing growth of the ears if one operates too early). The surgery is performed under a general anaesthetic in children but can be done under a local anaesthetic in adults. An incision is made in the crease behind the ear as well as a small cut under the lip of the ear near the top. 

DOES MY CHILD NEED TO WEAR A HEADBAND AFTER SURGERY?

The ears cannot be pulled forward for several weeks after surgery without risking tearing a suture. To prevent this from happening, it is necessary to have a bandage around one's head continuously for the first week after surgery. After this week, the head bandage is removed and one can then wash one's hair, but it is still necessary to wear a band at night for another three weeks.