Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, your ears are amazing. They allow you to hear AND balance – letting you live your daily life without getting dizzy, feeling nauseous or falling over. Your ears are made up of three parts – the outer ear, middle ear and the inner ear. The outer ear consists of the pinna and the ear canal. Since the outer ear is the only part we can easily see, when we talk about ‘ears’ we are usually talking about this external part that all the people we hang out with can easily see.
As human beings, we have adorned and ornamented our ears with all kinds of jewellery for literally thousands of years. Our earlobes have gone through the mill in a variety of cultures, mostly with the intent to decorate or to stretch and enlarge the fleshy lobe of the ear in a variety of different ways. Even today in western culture, it isn’t unusual to/ find various sized ear ‘plugs’, not to mention the great array of tattoos and piercings that are trending in fashion today.
The downside of these types of practices are infection and injury such as tearing of the ear from the weight of heavy adornments – but injury isn’t the only reason why we’re seeing increasing numbers of patients in the surgery. At a time where beauty is at its zenith, ears are under scrutiny along with all our other physical features. Yes, our ears are important for beauty, but unlike our lips or eyes, we prefer our ears to disappear into the background. Despite adorning our ears with rings and jewels, we actually don’t want them to stand out on their own or take any of the limelight at all.
Our ears are a prominent part of our body and have an overall effect on our facial appearance. In Western societies particularly, we consider protruding ears (present in about 5% of ethnic Europeans) to be unattractive – and particularly so if one ear is different to the other. To this end, ear aesthetics (autoplasty) has become a popular procedure in plastic surgery, and it continues to grow in popularity.
Big eyes, yes. Big lips, sure. Big breasts, yes perhaps – but it’s unusual to desire to have big ears, and this has been the case for centuries. In fact, the first surgery to reduce the projection of prominent ears was published in the medical literature by Ernst Dieffenbach in 1845. The fashion trend for the unobtrusive ear holds strong.
To some people, having the wrong type of ears may seem like a minor problem – but to those who have this condition it can genuinely knock confidence and self-esteem. Ridicule or bullying during childhood can lead to other mental complications later on – and unlike many other features, those with big or misshaped ears are reminded about their affliction every time they look in a mirror. Prominent or large ears are not always easy to hide. Some people (particularly women) will be used to hiding their ears behind their hair or other accessories, but for those with short hair, displaying ears in public can be a genuine cause of anxiety.
All is not lost. When it comes to ear aesthetics, our most popular operations are prominent ear surgeries (ears that stick out) and ear reduction surgery (making big ears smaller). For ears that stick out, we’re able to reduce the angle between the ear and head to the normal 30 to 35 degrees. For ears that need reducing in size, we can improve both the size and shape, making them look perfectly in proportion. During consultation, we talk to our patients about their needs sensitively. We listen and respond accordingly, providing information and guidance and talking through all the options.
Autoplasty is a tried and tested solution. It is also incredibly quick – taking approximately half an hour, using a local anaesthetic and leaving no visible scars.
This routine procedure shows great results, taking the limelight off your ears and letting other parts of you shine – not least your self-confidence. Why not book in a consultation with us?