Large ears – an increase in the size of individual parts or the entire auricle. Large ears lead to a violation of the aesthetic proportions of the face; they are often combined with lop-eared, asymmetry, deformity of the outer ear; they cause isolation and complexes, especially in adolescence. Large ears usually do not interfere with the auditory function in any way, but represent an exclusively cosmetic disadvantage. Reduction of the size and correction of the shape of the auricles is carried out by means and methods of plastic surgery and its specialized direction – otoplasty.
When it comes to large ears, it means, first of all, an increase in the size of the visible part of the outer ear – the auricle. Enlargement of the auricle is known in medicine as macrotia.
The auricle consists of a funnel-shaped, complex-shaped elastic cartilage covered with skin. Only the lower part of the auricle – the earlobe is devoid of cartilage tissue. The size of the human auricle, as well as all other parts of the body, can be different. The normal sizes of the auricle are considered to be: the largest ear length is 50-82 mm for men and 50-77 mm for women; the largest transverse size is 32-52 mm and 28-45 mm, respectively. Often there is a difference in the size of the right and left ear in one person, while usually the right auricle is larger than the left. Perhaps the most important characteristic of large ears is their disproportion with the rest of the face and body. There is a judgment that the ideal length of the ear is equal to the length of the nose, but this formula is very primitive and is not applicable for all cases.
The large size of the outer ear can indeed be apparent. With smoothed folds of the auricle or its flattening, the impression of a large ear is created, which is not a true macrotia. In accordance with the above, there are several types of big ears. An ear that is uniformly enlarged in all sizes, while maintaining the correct shape, is called a giant ear. Magnification can capture individual areas of the ear: its edge or funnel of the auricle; at the same time, the auricle lags noticeably behind the skull wall. With some forms of large ears, their impressive size is combined with various kinds of deformities of the auricle. Only the earlobe, enlarged in length, in transverse size, or in all directions evenly, can differ in large sizes. Large earlobes are usually flabby, but they can also be of normal density.
Physiological functions of the outer ear
Since the ears are the organ of hearing, the most important function of the outer ear is sound–catching: due to its funnel-shaped shape, the auricle has the ability not only to capture, but also to concentrate and transform sound waves.
Another important ability of the outer ear, associated with the capture of sounds, allows you to determine the direction of outgoing audio signals and is called ototopy. This function ensures maximum removal of the auricles from each other.
The protective function of the auricles is to protect the structures of the middle and inner ear from traumatic damage, the penetration of dust, cold air.
On the surface of the auricle there are many biologically active points, the impact on which through the system of nerve connections (vagus, trigeminal, facial nerve, sympathetic nerve cervical nodes) affects certain centers of the brain and helps to alleviate many ailments, which is successfully used for acupuncture (acupuncture).
In providing all these functions, large ears are more of an advantage than a disadvantage.
However, the outer ear also carries a cosmetic burden. And here big ears can hardly be the pride of their owner. Although in some African tribes, large ears were considered the standard of beauty, and the earlobes were specially pulled to an incredible size.
Ears of non-standard shape or size cause especially a lot of distress in adolescence due to the ridicule of peers. Subsequently, this can lead to the formation of isolation and complexes. If women can hide non-standard or large ears under a long hairstyle, then men, for the most part, are deprived of such an opportunity.
If the size and shape of the ears become a source of constant worries and dissatisfaction with themselves, otoplasty can serve as a way out in such a situation.
Methods of correcting the size and shape of the ears
Otoplasty is called plastic surgery to correct the shape or size of the auricles. With the help of otoplasty, aesthetic problems such as excessively protruding, asymmetrical, deformed, large ears are eliminated. With the help of reconstructive otoplasty, it is even possible to create an earlobe or the entire auricle in their absence as a result of trauma or congenital malformation.
The lowest age threshold for otoplasty is 6 years. Indications for ear plastic surgery in childhood are the presence of gross developmental abnormalities or deformities of the auricles. The presence of large ears at this age cannot be an indication for surgery. Aesthetic otoplasty is recommended no earlier than 15 years after the completion of the final formation of the ear. There are no age restrictions for adult patients during otoplasty.
Before performing an operation to reduce the auricle, the presence of contraindications is revealed and computer modeling of the shape and size of the future ear is carried out.
Otoplasty in adults is usually performed under local anesthesia, general anesthesia is preferable in children. Through the incision behind the auricle, the shape of the cartilage is corrected, it is moved to the desired position and fixed with internal sutures. With large ear sizes, excess skin and cartilage tissue are excised. Since the area of the operation is the behind-the-ear area, the traces of otoplasty remain invisible. Outside, the surgical incision is sutured with cosmetic sutures.
Otoplasty can be performed using a laser beam. Laser otoplasty allows you to reduce the time of surgical intervention, perform all stages of the operation more accurately and accurately. The indisputable advantages of laser otoplasty are its painlessness, bloodlessness and absence of complications. In general, otoplasty is considered a technically simple operation, so it almost always proceeds without complications.
Pain after otoplasty is minimal and well relieved by analgesics. After the operation, it is necessary to wear a fixing bandage for two weeks, the stitches are removed for about 7-10 days. In the next two months, sports training and other activities that can lead to ear injury are not recommended. For 1-2 months, it is necessary to regularly wear a special support tape.
Otoplasty quickly and reliably allows the patient to change his life for the better, get rid of worries and complexes about the non-standard shape or large size of the ears.