What is the Earfold® method for the correction of Sick Ears?
During the treatment according to the Earfold® method, in contrast to the classical surgical ear correction, a metal clip is inserted under the skin at the front of the ear onto the cartilage. Of course, this method of aesthetic surgery is also performed under local anesthesia, so you will not feel any pain during the outpatient procedure. The tension of the clamp forces the auricular cartilage to fold in the desired location, thus counteracting ear protrusion. The shape of the Earfold® clips results in a new inner ear fold (anthelix). Earfold® implants do not affect a protruding earlobe or enlarged ear cavity, so this surgical technique is not used for such corrections.
What are Earfold® Clips?
What are Earfold® Clips?
Can the effect of the Earfold® clips be tested beforehand?
To test the effect of the Earfold® implant, there are so-called Prefold® clamps. The Prefold® clamp is placed on the auricle on a trial basis like an ear clip during a personal consultation prior to the surgery appointment. Applying the Prefold® Clamp also helps determine the optimal and desired position, distance, and orientation and angle of the Earfold® Clip. If necessary, several Prefold® clamps can be applied to one ear to simulate a harmonious ear fold and thus the new position in relation to the head.
To ensure that the result is what you want, it is important to try Prefold® clamps before the outpatient procedure. The size, shape and tension of the Prefold® clips are the same as the Earfold® clips. In the event that satisfactory correction is not achieved with the Prefold® Clamp, additional correction of the ear cavity or earlobe may be required.
How are the Earfold® clips applied?
The Earfold® clips are inserted into the desired location using a special instrument. The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia. The implant is inserted through a skin incision on the front of the ear, near the outer ear fold.
What are the risks of the Earfold® method?
The disadvantage of the Earfold® plastic surgery method is that only the inner ear fold (anthelix) can be replicated. This does not correct other features of protruding ears, such as a protruding earlobe or enlarged ear cavity. The Earfold® method creates a bend in the ear fold that is not customized, unlike the suture technique. For this reason, the shape and expression of the inner ear fold may appear somewhat unnatural during an Earfold® ear correction. The uniform size, shape and tension of the implants produce different results depending on the shape, thickness and hardness of the person’s ear cartilage. In case of nickel allergy, the implants must not be inserted. If the skin is very thin, the implant may be palpable or visible at the auricle. Please note that even with this minimally invasive method, there are risks of complications such as secondary bleeding, inflammation, mild swelling, wound healing problems, and the formation of bulging or proliferating scars.
Four advantages of the Earfold® method
- The skin incision is smaller.
- The recovery time is shorter.
- It is not necessary to wear a headband.
- The treatment result can be visualized in advance by using the Prefold® clamp.
What are the costs associated with the Earfold® method?
The costs for an operation according to the Earfold® method are calculated from various factors. These differ in part individually from patient to patient. For a better understanding, it is best to visit our FAQ page on the subject of ear correction. If you would like to find out about the price range in advance, please take a look at our cost page under the menu item Costs.
Does the health insurance cover the costs for the ear-tipping with the Earfold® method?
The health insurance company will only cover the costs of ear tucking for minors if there is an expert opinion from a psychologist or psychiatrist stating a high level of suffering due to teasing. For the Earfold® method, the patient must have a written certificate from his responsible health insurance company that the costs of the implants are covered Paragraph 44, Paragraph 6 of the Bundesmantelvertrag – Ärzte. You will find further information on the subject of cost coverage by health insurance in the menu category “Costs” under the item “Obligation of health insurance companies to pay benefits”.
How long does an ear correction with the Earfold® method last?
Of course, you would like to know whether the ears need to be operated on again later after ear correction or whether a permanent result can be expected. In fact, the ear fold does not change after the implant is inserted. Accordingly, you can enjoy the fact that the ears will not stick out again. The clip has no expiration date and does not need to be removed, nor should it be. However, if it is removed, it must be assumed that the ear fold will regress again and the ear will protrude again.
Is the Earfold® method also suitable for children?
Infants generally have wide and round ears at birth. When a child is born, the ear already has 70% of its adult width. The auricle experiences a growth spurt during the first six months of life. As a rule, the ear cartilage grows slightly faster in girls than in boys. The size of the auricle develops at different rates in terms of width, length and depth. The auricle is thought to be mature when approximately 95 percent of adult size is reached. The auricle is mature in width from about the age of six, in depth from the age of eight, and in length from the age of fifteen (Purkait R., 2013, Aesthetic Plast Surg.). Therefore, we offer treatment for children from the age of 7.
Other frequently asked questions about ear correction
For more information on the causes of protruding ears, other treatment methods such as the suture method, the exact procedure of otopexy and the duration of the surgery, please visit the page Ear tucking (otopexy). There you will also find detailed explanations and answers to frequently asked questions about ears. Among other things, you will be asked whether the aesthetic plastic surgery will be performed under local anesthesia or whether you will sleep under general anesthesia during the surgery.
The topic of aftercare following the day of surgery is covered in depth on our FAQ page on ear correction. There, our experts will also inform you whether you should expect slight pain after the surgical procedure and how to behave after the procedure by the aesthetic surgeon in order to achieve the best result and guarantee a quick recovery from the small incision and the insertion of the clips. Among other things, some methods require the use of a soft headband. In addition, there are in fact several measures that help to avoid visible scars as much as possible and prevent the ears from sticking out again.
Of course, we will also be very happy to advise you in a personal consultation and answer all your individual questions regarding ear surgery.
Testimonials on ear pinning with the Earfold® method
Patients usually want to find out about other people’s ear resurfacing experiences weeks or months before plastic ear surgery. For this reason, they search the Internet for patient testimonials about otoplasty. In addition, once they have located an experienced doctor, they want to make sure, through reviews they find on sites like Google or Jameda, that the doctor performing the plastic aesthetic procedure can achieve the desired result. On our page on testimonials you will find bundled information on the topic. You can find them under the menu category “About us” under the item Quality. We are also happy to put you in touch with other patients who have agreed to talk personally about their experiences with the minor procedure. Therefore, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Before and after pictures of an ear correction with the Earfold® method
Prior to this outpatient treatment, you will have the opportunity to view before-and-after pictures of performed ear surgeries. On our before and after photos page in the menu category “About us” under the item Quality you can find the exact details about this.
The recordings were of course made in compliance with data protection regulations. Patients have always given their written consent to the plastic surgeon, so that you can see the results of treatment of previous patients. If children’s ears were put on, the custodians or parents consented to the before-and-after photos of the ears. They often want to help other parents avoid teasing their children at school as well. The children often carry a long and heavy psychological burden due to the ridicule because of their conspicuous ears. This can also lead to a mental disorder in some cases. However, it is not uncommon for adults to opt for otopexy to achieve the desired shape of their ears.
“We provide you with extensive expert knowledge so that we can work with you to select the best possible treatment path.”
Dr. med. Stéphane steel is the former director of the Clinic for Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery / Hand Surgery at the Lüdenscheid Clinic. Dr. Stahl studied medicine at the Universities of Freiburg and Berlin. In 2011 he passed the European and 2012 the German specialist examination for plastic and aesthetic surgery. Further specialist qualifications and additional qualifications followed (including quality management, medical didactics, physical therapy, emergency medicine, laser protection officers, hand surgery) as well as prizes and awards. In 2015 he completed his habilitation in plastic and aesthetic surgery in Tübingen. He is an experienced microsurgeon, a sought-after expert and a regular speaker at specialist congresses. After a multi-stage selection process, Stéphane Stahl became a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), one of the world’s largest and most influential specialist societies for aesthetic surgery. His authorship includes numerous articles in respected peer review journals and standard surgical textbooks.