EarFoldTM is a new, minimally invasive implant developed to reshape the cartilage of ears to create a fold and correct prominent ears. It is a very thin, curved metal implant made of nitinol (nickel and titanium) and plated with 24 carat gold. It is an alternative to traditional otoplasty surgery for some patients.
What are the advantages of earFoldTM over standard otoplasty surgery techniques?
EarFoldTM is placed through smaller incisions and is a much quicker procedure than standard otoplasty techniques. It will leave a much smaller scar that is usually barely noticeable. It is usually very well tolerated under local anaesthetic and because it is less invasive surgery, there is less swelling and bruising afterwards.
You are able to see how much correction and change earFoldTM can do for your ears beforehand as preFold sizers will be used during your preoperative consultations to determine where the implants will be placed and how many implants will be used.
Mr Marc Pacifico MD FRCS(Plast) has been described as one of his generation’s rising stars in plastic surgery. His academic, surgical and practice achievements include, amongst others, coming top in the UK’s consultant level plastic surgery examinations (being awarded the Gold Medal), the publication of over 50 international peer-reviewed papers, being a regular invited speaker at conferences and the opening of his own private clinic, Purity Bridge, alongside his busy private surgical practice. He has built his reputation on a combination of a high level of surgical skill, his artistic eye and his holistic, friendly approach to patient care. His particular areas of interest include plastic surgery to the face and breast, as well as body contouring surgery. The look Marc aims to achieve is a natural, fresh look, in all areas of aesthetic surgery. Marc particularly focuses on the care his patients receive pre- and post-operatively, in order to optimize the outcome of surgery and provide all under his care with a smooth recovery after their procedure. Marc recognizes the continuum between non-surgical and surgical techniques, using all available options to formulate a bespoke treatment plan for every individual. This process has been further enabled by the opening of his private clinic Purity Bridge in Tunbridge Wells, that provides the best level of care possible to his patients. The art of rejuvenation is not a “one stop shop” but rather a process, with the right procedure required at the right time for the right outcome. That means maintaining surgical results with specifically timed non-surgical interventions, as well as a global approach to the individual that is outcome driven. Marc Pacifico is a fully accredited specialist in plastic surgery, and is on the Specialist Register in Plastic Surgery with the General Medical Council (number 4412407) and a member of BAAPS,BAPRAS and ISAPS. See a short video introduction to Marc here ›
Ms Nora Nugent FRCS(Plast) has joined Purity Bridge where she offers an individually tailored modern plastic surgery practice. The cornerstones of her practice are good communication with you and meticulous attention to detail as she feels this is vital to your decision to undergo any treatment under her care. This ethos is continued from your first consultation through to the end of your treatment to ensure that you get the highest possible care and are fully supported during this time. Nora aims to provide you with a clear and honest opinion on your condition and will ensure that you have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have before proceeding with treatment. Nora graduated from medical school at University College Dublin and completed her specialist training in plastic surgery with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. To further develop her clinical expertise and skills, she then undertook specialist fellowships in North America and Australia. Training in advanced burn critical care and burn surgery (acute and reconstructive) was undertaken during her fellowship at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Galveston, Texas. Prior to taking up her consultant post in the Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead, Nora obtained additional subspecialty training in Australia completing a plastic surgery fellowship at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney which encompassed both aesthetic (cosmetic) surgery and reconstructive surgery (including microsurgery) and also a hand surgery fellowship with Victorian Hand Surgery Associates, Melbourne. This allows her to offer you a wide range of procedures across the spectrum of plastic surgery. She has experience in all areas of aesthetic surgery including breast, facial and abdominal surgery and strives to achieve a natural rejuvenated appearance for her patients. For some this may be a skin rejuvenation technique while for others surgery can be a better option. Nora Nugent is a fully qualified plastic surgeon with the FRCS (Plast) qualification and has specialist registration in plastic surgery with the General Medical Council. She is a member of BAPRAS and IAPS. Nora maintains a broad range of clinical interests within plastic surgery and regularly attends conferences within the specialty to keep up to date with evolving techniques and new developments in plastic surgery. She is also a member of multidisciplinary clinical groups overseeing the management of burns, skin cancer and lower limb injuries in the South East of England. While always looking for ways to improve the care she can provide, Nora will only offer new procedures once she is satisfied that they have been evaluated fully and offer a clear benefit to her patients.
Patients wishing for correction of prominent ears, who are aged over 7 years of age and whose ear prominence is primarily or mostly due to a poorly formed antihelical fold (the fold of the ear that sits just inside the outer rim of the ear), may be suitable candidates for earFoldTM.
During your preoperative consultations, your suitability for an earFoldTM procedure will be determined. Ms Nugent is our earFoldTM expert at Purity Bridge, and she will take details of why you wish to change your ears, the changes that you wish to make and details of your general medical health, medications and allergies as well as your history of scarring and smoking. She will examine both of your ears and then explain your options to you.
If she determines that you are suitable for earFoldTM implants instead of otoplasty surgery, Ms Nugent will then use preFold implant sizers to determine positioning of permanent implant placement and the number of implants required. These are small curved pieces of metal of the same size and shape as the permanent earFoldTM implant. They are placed on your ear(s) to create the antihelical fold and determine the degree of correction that earFoldTM will offer you. See the pictures below to get an idea of how the preFold implant sizers are placed. You will be able to view the placement and adjustment of the preFold sizers during the consultation. Photographs (with your written consent) will be taken of your ears from several angles both before the preFold sizers are placed and once the optimal position and number of implants are determined. These photographs form part of your medical record and are used for planning your surgery and monitoring your results.
Usually one earFoldTM implant is used per ear but about 25% of people have two implants per ear placed and very occasionally three implants per ear are used.
EarFoldTM is carried out under local anaesthetic. When you arrive at the clinic, a nurse will go over routine preoperative checks with you. Ms Nugent will then see you and go through a consent form with you.
After this, Ms Nugent will again place the preFold sizers on your ears in the locations agreed upon at your preoperative consultations. You will be asked to check this in a mirror. Once these checks are done, further photographs may be taken. The position of the implants will be marked and the preFold sizers will be removed.
Your ears will then be numbed with local anaesthetic injections. Your ears will be carefully cleaned and sterile drapes placed. Ms Nugent will then perform the procedure through small incisions (<1 cm) on the front of your ear. You will be aware that there is touching and moving of your ear but it will not be painful. Sounds may appear louder than usual due the proximity of the surgery to your ear. Once the implants are placed, Ms Nugent will place an absorbable suture in each incision and cover it with a paper tape.
The procedure takes between 20 and 45 minutes to perform depending on the number of earFoldTM implants to be placed.