Bat ear is an inherited condition where one
or both of the ears may not grow into the normal shape. Often, the size, shape and position of the
normal ear is most often a familiar characteristic. Deformities of the ear are also of similar
nature, including conditions, which present variations of cartilage and contour
and the protruding ear, especially when both sides are involved.
Children are often subjected to callous
remarks, whilst adults may not express such attitudes openly, but instead
harbour sensitivities that were present during childhood, often project
feelings of self-consciousness, rejection and hostility.
Surgical intervention is often very helpful
in improving the ears and can be performed quite effectively as early as four,
five or six years of age, although it may not be possible to achieve an
entirely normal appearance, especially in the worst cases.
In adults the operation is often performed
with a local anaesthetic.
is performed, by repositioning or otherwise altering the flexible cartilage
The ultimate aim of surgery
is to reduce the protrusion and at the same time, to provide a normal
configuration when the ear is viewed from the side.
Incisions are generally placed behind the ear
where any remaining surface scars are required; these are often placed
inconspicuously within the normal contours.
Following the operation, a total head bandage (turban-type) is necessary
so that both ears can be protected, swelling minimised and discomfort
The head dressing is ordinarily
worn for 5-7 days after which time the remaining swelling will gradually
Thereafter, a headband (e.g.
tennis headband) is worn for a few weeks at night.
Some variations in management should be
anticipated, depending largely upon the specific correction undertaken.