Q& A

Irish Independent - Health & Living - - HEALTH MATTERS -

EI am in my 40s and I am ter­ri­bly self-con­scious about my ears. They stick out at an al­most 90-de­gree an­gle from my head. I have al­ways tried to cover them with my hair, but it never works. I re­ally want to do some­thing about it now that I have a bit of money to pay for what­ever surgery is

nec­es­sary. What op­tions are avail­able to me and do I need to be re­ferred? Should I go the cos­metic surgery route or through a reg­u­lar hos­pi­tal? Also, my one-year-old niece has in­her­ited the con­di­tion, even though her mother didn’t have it. What op­tions are avail­able for ba­bies?

I don’t want my niece to go through what I did. ars are felt to pro­trude if they stick out more than 2cm from the side of the head. Most ears pro­trude at an an­gle of 20 to 35 de­grees — more than 35 de­grees is con­sid­ered above nor­mal. About 5pc of the pop­u­la­tion has pro­trud­ing ears. It can run in fam­i­lies but may oc­cur spo­rad­i­cally also.

Oto­plasty, which is the sur­gi­cal cor­rec­tion of pro­trud­ing ears, is the most com­mon cos­metic pro­ce­dure car­ried out on chil­dren. Those who have pro­trud­ing ears may be self-con­scious or be sub­jected to ridicule and bul­ly­ing, so many par­ents seek treat­ment for their chil­dren. The pro­ce­dure nor­mally takes place once the ears are fully-grown — some­where be­tween the age of six and nine.

If you are self-con­scious about your ears and it is af­fect­ing your self-es­teem then seek­ing cor­rec­tion is a rea­son­able path. Sur­gi­cal cos­metic pro­ce­dures are not gen­er­ally cov­ered in the pub­lic sys­tem and so you may need to be re­ferred to a pri­vate sur­geon or clinic. Do start with your GP — they can di­rect you to the right ser­vice.

The sur­geon should be reg­is­tered and prac­tis­ing full time in Ire­land. They should be reg­is­tered on the spe­cial­ist reg­is­ter of the Ir­ish med­i­cal Coun­cil as a plas­tic or ENT sur­geon. You should at­tend for a pre-op­er­a­tive con­sul­ta­tion. At this re­view you should be able to have any ques­tions an­swered. The cost and process of the pro­ce­dure should be fully re­viewed and ex­plained.

It is im­por­tant that you meet the doc­tor who will be car­ry­ing out the pro­ce­dure and that they ex­am­ine you, dis­cuss the surgery and ad­vise you of any pos­si­ble risks or com­pli­ca­tions. It may not be nice to think of what might go wrong but if you are at­tend­ing a clinic, you should ask what hos­pi­tal they are af­fil­i­ated with and where you would be cared for if any com­pliof

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.