MY AWESOME NEW EARS!

Thread Otoplasty with Dr. Merck

On April 2nd, 2013 I had ear surgery. It’s called otoplasty. I had protruding ears and now they have “stuck” to my head. Now my hair pulled back looks much better. For sure the first day I looked weird but I certainly look better now…:)

I hadn’t done it earlier because the traditional method didn’t fully convince me (cutting and modifying the cartilage). The ear ends up being more stuck, yes, but it deforms the lobe and looks really weird.

The Doctor
However, about seven months ago I found on the Internet the Thread Technique of Dr. Merck (http://www.clinica-otoplastia.com). He’s a German plastic surgeon that after 30 years of using the traditional technique invented this new procedure using thread that pulls the ear toward the head without deforming them and without scars. I liked what I saw on his web page a great deal and the patients’ comments in forums, so I went for it.

Logistics
So on April 2nd, 2013 at 9am in the Quiron Hospital San Camillo of Madrid the doctor explained how he was going to do the procedure. I paid 2,920€ (this price is for Madrid. 500 is for the clinic where the procedure is done and they charge it as OR fees and the rest is for the doctor. It seems really cheap considering the results.) and at 11 he began. Local anesthesia in one ear first, they adjust it to what it should be and then the same on the other ear. It was all over by 13:15.

Un día antes de la intervención

1 day before surgery


Procedure
I’ll tell you how much it hurts and how the process goes so you have an idea. In surgery they poke the ear. It hurts about the same as when you get anesthesia at the dentist, manageable pain in my view. Then for one hour the ear is sewn like a piece of cloth to the head (I’m only speaking of the sensation I had since I didn’t see it…). Furthermore, before finishing you can see yourself in the mirror to see how it’s going to look. If you want the ear even more stuck to the head – as was my case- he adjusts it. Incredible.

Then he does the other ear. The operation barely hurts and the ears barely hurt during the three to four hours later. Hooowever, the bad part comes later, ha, ha…Three to four hours after finishing everything the anesthesia wears off completely and the pain begins. The ears swell and hurt constantly as if you had been kicked in each ear. The doctor will prescribe an antibiotic and ibuprofen for the swelling (anti-inflammatory) and Gelocatil with codeine for the pain (analgesic), but the first night you likely won’t sleep. It hurts a lot and you won’t find a posture to alleviate it (and the band that you have to put for a month doesn’t help. With gazes the first day, of course.) But so you know, the pain is less severe than with the traditional method, from what I’ve been told. The next day, I asked an aesthetician friend of mine and she told me to take the antibiotic that I was prescribed (Cefuroxim Ratiopharm 500 mg) per the instructions (every 24 hours for two days), but to take Nolotil instead of Gelocatil as analgesic and alternate it with 600 g of ibuprofen per the indications. And to not forget to take Omeoprazoi if I don’t want to get a stomach ulcer!

Recovery
The fact is that the day after the operation the ears continue to hurt a lot. Not as much as the previous afternoon, but still a lot. The ears will be swollen, red and on top of that you can’t wash your hair for two days (nor sunbathe for a week and under no circumstances touch the scabs after showering until they go away), hence it’s best to not make plans with anyone that you want to impress for three days following the procedure. By the afternoon the pain begins to diminish and by the second night you’ll be able to sleep. Not straight through (I woke up in the middle of the night, but I took the Nolotil and was groggy…) but at least you’re able to rest. From day four, the pain is much more bearable and by the sixth day it only hurts if you get hit on the ear…12 days later it just bothers you a bit to sleep. You can in fact rest on the ear and can be on it for some time. They only hurt if you hit yourself or if without thinking about it you push them frontwards…17 days later you can sleep resting on the ear. They itch a bit!

Dias siguientes a la intervención

A few days after surgery. Ouch! (They look worse than they feel…)


A month later I still have stiches behind the ears. All of the scabs in front have fallen off but the stiches in back haven’t yet (small dark threads). The doctor tells me via email that I must wait. A week later they have disappeared. They fall on their own. Don’t touch them!

Sin puntos

No stitches anymore


Surprises
Two months later the ears don’t hurt at all unless I give myself a sharp blow. Buuut…I realize that in the left ear a thread has emerged to the surface!!!! Grrrr. It’s almost invisible because it’s transparent. I sent an email to the doctor and he tells me not to worry. I will need to have surgery again to have it fixed but it will be easy. Apparently it happens sometimes to those with very fine skin.

El Hilo que se salió

A thread poked out…


Hence, on July 23 (I couldn’t do it earlier because I travel a lot) I went to Palma de Mallorca Hospital Quirón Palmaplanas to have it touched up. Don’t lie to yourself, plastic surgery requires touch ups most of the time. This one is no exception. Therefore, I’m off to operate once more but only on one ear. It lasted just as long if not longer than the previous time because he had to remove the defective thread. He left it perfect. The post operation is the same, but since I knew what to except and it being only one ear, I slept fine from day one making it all the easier. (I returned to Madrid by plane after leaving the OR. I left alone for Mallorca that same morning, so you have an idea…)

And you look hot or handsome, so no complaints; it is definitely worth it. Go for it!!!! I’m 38 years old but children can be operated on from 5 years of age. Additionally, they get general anesthesia and of course recuperate much better than we do.

Resultado final

Final Results


Contact
If you want more information, I’m on LinkedIn or use this blog’s contact form. I have no affiliation with Dr. Merck – aside from being a new fan, of course. If you want more information as a patient, send me a note I don’t mind helping you in anyway I can. Seriously this man is brilliant. I’m not surprised that people come from all over the world (Europe, China, USA, South America) to be operated by him in Spain (Madrid, Palma or Tenerife) or Germany.

Greetings! 😊

MY AWESOME NEW EARS!

Thread Otoplasty with Dr. Merck

On April 2nd, 2013 I had ear surgery. It’s called otoplasty. I had protruding ears and now they have “stuck” to my head. Now my hair pulled back looks much better. For sure the first day I looked weird but I certainly look better now…:)

I hadn’t done it earlier because the traditional method didn’t fully convince me (cutting and modifying the cartilage). The ear ends up being more stuck, yes, but it deforms the lobe and looks really weird.

The Doctor
However, about seven months ago I found on the Internet the Thread Technique of Dr. Merck (http://www.clinica-otoplastia.com). He’s a German plastic surgeon that after 30 years of using the traditional technique invented this new procedure using thread that pulls the ear toward the head without deforming them and without scars. I liked what I saw on his web page a great deal and the patients’ comments in forums, so I went for it.

Logistics
So on April 2nd, 2013 at 9am in the Quiron Hospital San Camillo of Madrid the doctor explained how he was going to do the procedure. I paid 2,920€ (this price is for Madrid. 500 is for the clinic where the procedure is done and they charge it as OR fees and the rest is for the doctor. It seems really cheap considering the results.) and at 11 he began. Local anesthesia in one ear first, they adjust it to what it should be and then the same on the other ear. It was all over by 13:15.

Un día antes de la intervención

1 day before surgery


Procedure
I’ll tell you how much it hurts and how the process goes so you have an idea. In surgery they poke the ear. It hurts about the same as when you get anesthesia at the dentist, manageable pain in my view. Then for one hour the ear is sewn like a piece of cloth to the head (I’m only speaking of the sensation I had since I didn’t see it…). Furthermore, before finishing you can see yourself in the mirror to see how it’s going to look. If you want the ear even more stuck to the head – as was my case- he adjusts it. Incredible.

Then he does the other ear. The operation barely hurts and the ears barely hurt during the three to four hours later. Hooowever, the bad part comes later, ha, ha…Three to four hours after finishing everything the anesthesia wears off completely and the pain begins. The ears swell and hurt constantly as if you had been kicked in each ear. The doctor will prescribe an antibiotic and ibuprofen for the swelling (anti-inflammatory) and Gelocatil with codeine for the pain (analgesic), but the first night you likely won’t sleep. It hurts a lot and you won’t find a posture to alleviate it (and the band that you have to put for a month doesn’t help. With gazes the first day, of course.) But so you know, the pain is less severe than with the traditional method, from what I’ve been told. The next day, I asked an aesthetician friend of mine and she told me to take the antibiotic that I was prescribed (Cefuroxim Ratiopharm 500 mg) per the instructions (every 24 hours for two days), but to take Nolotil instead of Gelocatil as analgesic and alternate it with 600 g of ibuprofen per the indications. And to not forget to take Omeoprazoi if I don’t want to get a stomach ulcer!

Recovery
The fact is that the day after the operation the ears continue to hurt a lot. Not as much as the previous afternoon, but still a lot. The ears will be swollen, red and on top of that you can’t wash your hair for two days (nor sunbathe for a week and under no circumstances touch the scabs after showering until they go away), hence it’s best to not make plans with anyone that you want to impress for three days following the procedure. By the afternoon the pain begins to diminish and by the second night you’ll be able to sleep. Not straight through (I woke up in the middle of the night, but I took the Nolotil and was groggy…) but at least you’re able to rest. From day four, the pain is much more bearable and by the sixth day it only hurts if you get hit on the ear…12 days later it just bothers you a bit to sleep. You can in fact rest on the ear and can be on it for some time. They only hurt if you hit yourself or if without thinking about it you push them frontwards…17 days later you can sleep resting on the ear. They itch a bit!

Dias siguientes a la intervención

A few days after surgery. Ouch! (They look worse than they feel…)


A month later I still have stiches behind the ears. All of the scabs in front have fallen off but the stiches in back haven’t yet (small dark threads). The doctor tells me via email that I must wait. A week later they have disappeared. They fall on their own. Don’t touch them!

Sin puntos

No stitches anymore


Surprises
Two months later the ears don’t hurt at all unless I give myself a sharp blow. Buuut…I realize that in the left ear a thread has emerged to the surface!!!! Grrrr. It’s almost invisible because it’s transparent. I sent an email to the doctor and he tells me not to worry. I will need to have surgery again to have it fixed but it will be easy. Apparently it happens sometimes to those with very fine skin.

El Hilo que se salió

A thread poked out…


Hence, on July 23 (I couldn’t do it earlier because I travel a lot) I went to Palma de Mallorca Hospital Quirón Palmaplanas to have it touched up. Don’t lie to yourself, plastic surgery requires touch ups most of the time. This one is no exception. Therefore, I’m off to operate once more but only on one ear. It lasted just as long if not longer than the previous time because he had to remove the defective thread. He left it perfect. The post operation is the same, but since I knew what to except and it being only one ear, I slept fine from day one making it all the easier. (I returned to Madrid by plane after leaving the OR. I left alone for Mallorca that same morning, so you have an idea…)

And you look hot or handsome, so no complaints; it is definitely worth it. Go for it!!!! I’m 38 years old but children can be operated on from 5 years of age. Additionally, they get general anesthesia and of course recuperate much better than we do.

Resultado final

Final Results


Contact
If you want more information, I’m on LinkedIn or use this blog’s contact form. I have no affiliation with Dr. Merck – aside from being a new fan, of course. If you want more information as a patient, send me a note I don’t mind helping you in anyway I can. Seriously this man is brilliant. I’m not surprised that people come from all over the world (Europe, China, USA, South America) to be operated by him in Spain (Madrid, Palma or Tenerife) or Germany.

Greetings! 😊

Cathy’s Stitch Meth Experience

I first read about the Stitch Method back in 2007, attempted to inquire about it again in 2012, but it wasn’t until 2018 of Dec 27that 11 am was I finally able muster up the courage to go. Saioa’s website helped settle some of the remaining questions I have especially about healing and scarring and gave me some reassurance I needed given that Dr. Merck’s forum has been shut down since 2006 due to excessive advertising spam.

The review is based on my own personal experience of the Stitch Method on one ear. As in any surgery, each one’s experience and results will vary. I have no present or prospective interest in Dr. Merck’s business and received no compensation or any undue influence for completing this review.

PRE-PROCEDURE – INFO SESSION:

As funny as it sounds, the main reason I picked the Morning session as opposed to the Afternoon session is I didn’t want to stand around waiting and thinking about the surgery. I call it now a surgery as opposed to an outpatient procedure because it IS a surgery regardless of how less invasive it is and warrants the same mental preparation as any surgery. The 8:45 am photo documentation and mandatory info session was a bit of an overkill if you have already decided you are doing the procedure because you are grouped with prospective patients although to be fair all questions asked by the group are helpful nonetheless. Moreover, it helped a lot that I met that same morning the other girl who will be doing the surgery in the afternoon. No post-operative photos of what the ears look like immediately right after surgery were shown during the presentation but you will see what mine looked like in a bit.

Dr. Merck determined that I have average ear thickness and did a recommendation between prolene and goretex thread after feeling each of the attendee’s ears. An important consideration that I never really thought of until after the presentation was how much “pinned” I would like my ear to be after knowing that there will be a normal 2-3mm difference from the post-surgery position that is considered acceptable. I have an underdeveloped anti-helix which I feel is one of things the Stitch Method could correct strongly, but I didn’t know that the weird shape of my helix (or lack thereof) could NOT be corrected because it is the natural shape of my outer ear cartilage. So for those with little to no fold on on your helix, this is something to think about. Sample photos online of a lack of helix:

BEFORE:

PROCEDURE – DURING:

I had to go ask to talk to Dr. Merck after the info session as there wasn’t a one-on-one consultation as I had thought. When 11am struck, I slowly shuffled from the waiting room to the reception area where a surgery assistant ushered me to a door with a narrow hallway to put on a white lab coat. She was all smiles as she opened the final door to the frosted glass operating room and asked me lay on a bright operating table, and given a warm blanket as Dr. Merck and his assistant went to prep. The prep probably took a good 10-15 min as I look up to a backlit ceiling glass with nature scenery. I can tell you this nice little touch helps a lot when one is waiting to get operated on. While I didn’t think I was wide eyed the least bit I was hyper aware during this time as I see Dr. Merck’s assistant help him put on his white lab coat in a separate corner. The assistant put a thick gel on the hair around my left ear and I believe they used some hair pins too. The surgery started with the anaesthesia and I had no idea that the injections were numerous (6-8, I believe) and that they will also inject the back of my ear. This was the only part of the surgery that actually hurts. Of the several anaesthesia injections, only two random pricks somewhere in the middle of this session made me gasp “ouch” while the rest of the injections just lay at the edge of my pain tolerance, which is low by the way to put things into perspective.

After about 5 minutes, my left ear felt thick as Dr. Merck tapped it as if to confirm my state of numbness before proceeding with the first stich. It was mostly quiet as Dr. Merck concentrated on the set up the groundwork for the stitches and motioned only to his assistant for tools. They both looked very coordinated and my surgery looked routine to them, which is reassuring. About 5 stiches in or a mere 5-10 minutes in, I felt an underlying panic as I remember just wanting everything to be over already but saw from the wall clock before me that I have about another 40 minutes before this is all over. This is also the moment I realized this IS surgery and not just a minor ear pinning procedure. I know I wouldn’t have considered otoplasty and the Stitch Method did make it look a lot less invasive. However, I should’ve still mentally prepared for this with the same seriousness. I should reiterate that I never felt any pain during the surgery and only recall two “jolt” provoking moments when they pulled the thread to pin my ear closer to the head. Given that the operation is on the ear, I am sure that everything I perceived is greatly exaggerated. At least in my head anyway, those two jolts felt like pulling one of those thicker rubber bands two feet out and letting it go to hit my ear. I also felt the pressure and a lot of “internal” sound if you will but no pain.

In the last 10 min of the session, I was asked to sit up and was given a large handheld mirror to see what my ear looks like. I was glad to find no blood anywhere which was my concern in the beginning – just my reddish ear. Their first version I felt was too close to the head so they adjusted for the first time. I asked for another adjustment after that after which Dr. Merck’s assistant gestured “we’re good” as if to say it will be wrong if we adjusted any further. I heeded her reaction and was ok with it. Dr. Merck did his final work before letting his assistant close the stitch as well as the cleaning and removing any hair gel residue.

The assistant only speak Portugese or Spanish I believe so it was difficult to communicate with her after I was done the surgery when she was asking me if I wanted a brush to fix my hair. It helped a lot as the last thing you want is to have messy hair in addition to your swollen ears immediately after the surgery. Every little detail pre- and post-surgery helps with your overall experience so I highly recommend bringing your own brush for comfort and bring a small snack and a bottle of water you can immediately consume after the surgery because you will be hungry.

RECOVERY:

We ate out at a nearby German restaurant by the docks and these were my initial photos after the surgery where it just looks badly bruised:

It was only the first night where I felt the expected underlying pain after the anaesthesia has worn off. The pain also only came gradually so there was enough time to take my second round of pain killer before it got bad. I got the painkillers, Ibuflam 600 mg or Gelonida, from the pharmacy just below the Ear Clinic. I was told to take the latter if the former didn’t work but honestly didn’t notice any difference between the two. The rest of the other days/nights, I didn’t feel any pain from the surgery only that I couldn’t sleep on my left side.

This is Day 2:

Some swelling expected.

AFTER 14 DAYS – TEMPORARY T-BAR APPEARED:

FINAL RESULTS – 4 MONTHS BEFORE & AFTER        VS      13 YRS AGO:

HEALING AFTER 5 MONTHS RESPECTIVELY:

Before – after

In the end, I got a very natural looking corrected left ear but if I were to redo things I would have gone with what Dr. Merck has shown me the first time due to my thinner helix. I just thought I would’ve preferred my “corrected” ear to be more pinned than my other ear no matter what the angle is. So even though my ear only moved by 2mm (acceptable range: 2-3mm) my corrected ear could look very slightly protruded still, depending on angle, because of the shape of my helix (outer ear edge fold). Unlike the advocated sister ears, I realize in hindsight I prefer my ears to look closer to twin ears – but that’s me.

Even though doing an international travel just for an info session wasn’t practical for my situation, I did wish that the presentation was at least made available to international patients via Skype or video conference. I would have then had a bit more time to think about the limitations of the Stitch Method which is “not being able to correct the outer fold of my ears”. Although, I doubt it would’ve changed my mind. As I was told most people do not have perfectly symmetrical ears I didn’t think much of it but what I didn’t expect and was harder to imagine until a few months post-surgery is how noticeable it was when my ear did move back out a bit as forewarned. This small 2-3mm “overcorrection” turned out to be high stakes for my unique situation.

However, everything is personal so what looks better to me is not necessarily good for another person in a similar situation and I think Dr. Merck did a very natural version of my ear which I do not mind.

My healed ears show the knots as mentioned during the presentation and mine in particular show two knots as per below:

Unless pointed out, no one notices the two knots. The back version of the knot/or scar is more pronounced than in front but goes along the curve of your ear so not easily detectible. The back just looks like a cat scratch but 1 cm tops.

Feeling-wise, every now and then I have to use my hand to prop my head when sleeping on my left side because I feel discomfort on laying on my ear To qualify, the discomfort is from me reaching what appears to be the maximum “stretch” my helix (at 2 o’clock) can take. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 equating to feeling a bump to 10 screaming in excruciating pain, I would say the discomfort is a 2 to 3 tops. Note I never relieved my ear of the stitches in the first 2-3 months by sleeping on it as, again, I have low pain tolerance and didn’t really want to provoke unnecessarily pain. Perhaps sleeping on it earlier would’ve allowed me to get my ear used to the stitches earlier? I will never know.

Also, my in-ear wireless earphones (Jabra Elite 65T active) hurt my affected ear if I wear it too long like my left ear is more sensitive. I figure it’s because it is hitting the knots in my anti-helix. It doesn’t bother me enough to switch to smaller earphones but this is definitely something one should consider when doing any ear surgery. I have no issues with other smaller earbuds.

Overall, I still think the surgery was worth it even though the ear corrected I needed seemed minor. I can gladly say I am able to tuck my hair behind my ears, wear a pony, or cut my hair very short – that’s all that really matters to me.

Cathy’s Stitch Meth Experience

I first read about the Stitch Method back in 2007, attempted to inquire about it again in 2012, but it wasn’t until 2018 of Dec 27that 11 am was I finally able muster up the courage to go. Saioa’s website helped settle some of the remaining questions I have especially about healing and scarring and gave me some reassurance I needed given that Dr. Merck’s forum has been shut down since 2006 due to excessive advertising spam.

The review is based on my own personal experience of the Stitch Method on one ear. As in any surgery, each one’s experience and results will vary. I have no present or prospective interest in Dr. Merck’s business and received no compensation or any undue influence for completing this review.

PRE-PROCEDURE – INFO SESSION:

As funny as it sounds, the main reason I picked the Morning session as opposed to the Afternoon session is I didn’t want to stand around waiting and thinking about the surgery. I call it now a surgery as opposed to an outpatient procedure because it IS a surgery regardless of how less invasive it is and warrants the same mental preparation as any surgery. The 8:45 am photo documentation and mandatory info session was a bit of an overkill if you have already decided you are doing the procedure because you are grouped with prospective patients although to be fair all questions asked by the group are helpful nonetheless. Moreover, it helped a lot that I met that same morning the other girl who will be doing the surgery in the afternoon. No post-operative photos of what the ears look like immediately right after surgery were shown during the presentation but you will see what mine looked like in a bit.

Dr. Merck determined that I have average ear thickness and did a recommendation between prolene and goretex thread after feeling each of the attendee’s ears. An important consideration that I never really thought of until after the presentation was how much “pinned” I would like my ear to be after knowing that there will be a normal 2-3mm difference from the post-surgery position that is considered acceptable. I have an underdeveloped anti-helix which I feel is one of things the Stitch Method could correct strongly, but I didn’t know that the weird shape of my helix (or lack thereof) could NOT be corrected because it is the natural shape of my outer ear cartilage. So for those with little to no fold on on your helix, this is something to think about. Sample photos online of a lack of helix:

BEFORE:

PROCEDURE – DURING:

I had to go ask to talk to Dr. Merck after the info session as there wasn’t a one-on-one consultation as I had thought. When 11am struck, I slowly shuffled from the waiting room to the reception area where a surgery assistant ushered me to a door with a narrow hallway to put on a white lab coat. She was all smiles as she opened the final door to the frosted glass operating room and asked me lay on a bright operating table, and given a warm blanket as Dr. Merck and his assistant went to prep. The prep probably took a good 10-15 min as I look up to a backlit ceiling glass with nature scenery. I can tell you this nice little touch helps a lot when one is waiting to get operated on. While I didn’t think I was wide eyed the least bit I was hyper aware during this time as I see Dr. Merck’s assistant help him put on his white lab coat in a separate corner. The assistant put a thick gel on the hair around my left ear and I believe they used some hair pins too. The surgery started with the anaesthesia and I had no idea that the injections were numerous (6-8, I believe) and that they will also inject the back of my ear. This was the only part of the surgery that actually hurts. Of the several anaesthesia injections, only two random pricks somewhere in the middle of this session made me gasp “ouch” while the rest of the injections just lay at the edge of my pain tolerance, which is low by the way to put things into perspective.

After about 5 minutes, my left ear felt thick as Dr. Merck tapped it as if to confirm my state of numbness before proceeding with the first stich. It was mostly quiet as Dr. Merck concentrated on the set up the groundwork for the stitches and motioned only to his assistant for tools. They both looked very coordinated and my surgery looked routine to them, which is reassuring. About 5 stiches in or a mere 5-10 minutes in, I felt an underlying panic as I remember just wanting everything to be over already but saw from the wall clock before me that I have about another 40 minutes before this is all over. This is also the moment I realized this IS surgery and not just a minor ear pinning procedure. I know I wouldn’t have considered otoplasty and the Stitch Method did make it look a lot less invasive. However, I should’ve still mentally prepared for this with the same seriousness. I should reiterate that I never felt any pain during the surgery and only recall two “jolt” provoking moments when they pulled the thread to pin my ear closer to the head. Given that the operation is on the ear, I am sure that everything I perceived is greatly exaggerated. At least in my head anyway, those two jolts felt like pulling one of those thicker rubber bands two feet out and letting it go to hit my ear. I also felt the pressure and a lot of “internal” sound if you will but no pain.

In the last 10 min of the session, I was asked to sit up and was given a large handheld mirror to see what my ear looks like. I was glad to find no blood anywhere which was my concern in the beginning – just my reddish ear. Their first version I felt was too close to the head so they adjusted for the first time. I asked for another adjustment after that after which Dr. Merck’s assistant gestured “we’re good” as if to say it will be wrong if we adjusted any further. I heeded her reaction and was ok with it. Dr. Merck did his final work before letting his assistant close the stitch as well as the cleaning and removing any hair gel residue.

The assistant only speak Portugese or Spanish I believe so it was difficult to communicate with her after I was done the surgery when she was asking me if I wanted a brush to fix my hair. It helped a lot as the last thing you want is to have messy hair in addition to your swollen ears immediately after the surgery. Every little detail pre- and post-surgery helps with your overall experience so I highly recommend bringing your own brush for comfort and bring a small snack and a bottle of water you can immediately consume after the surgery because you will be hungry.

RECOVERY:

We ate out at a nearby German restaurant by the docks and these were my initial photos after the surgery where it just looks badly bruised:

It was only the first night where I felt the expected underlying pain after the anaesthesia has worn off. The pain also only came gradually so there was enough time to take my second round of pain killer before it got bad. I got the painkillers, Ibuflam 600 mg or Gelonida, from the pharmacy just below the Ear Clinic. I was told to take the latter if the former didn’t work but honestly didn’t notice any difference between the two. The rest of the other days/nights, I didn’t feel any pain from the surgery only that I couldn’t sleep on my left side.

This is Day 2:

Some swelling expected.

AFTER 14 DAYS – TEMPORARY T-BAR APPEARED:

FINAL RESULTS – 4 MONTHS BEFORE & AFTER        VS      13 YRS AGO:

HEALING AFTER 5 MONTHS RESPECTIVELY:

Before – after

In the end, I got a very natural looking corrected left ear but if I were to redo things I would have gone with what Dr. Merck has shown me the first time due to my thinner helix. I just thought I would’ve preferred my “corrected” ear to be more pinned than my other ear no matter what the angle is. So even though my ear only moved by 2mm (acceptable range: 2-3mm) my corrected ear could look very slightly protruded still, depending on angle, because of the shape of my helix (outer ear edge fold). Unlike the advocated sister ears, I realize in hindsight I prefer my ears to look closer to twin ears – but that’s me.

Even though doing an international travel just for an info session wasn’t practical for my situation, I did wish that the presentation was at least made available to international patients via Skype or video conference. I would have then had a bit more time to think about the limitations of the Stitch Method which is “not being able to correct the outer fold of my ears”. Although, I doubt it would’ve changed my mind. As I was told most people do not have perfectly symmetrical ears I didn’t think much of it but what I didn’t expect and was harder to imagine until a few months post-surgery is how noticeable it was when my ear did move back out a bit as forewarned. This small 2-3mm “overcorrection” turned out to be high stakes for my unique situation.

However, everything is personal so what looks better to me is not necessarily good for another person in a similar situation and I think Dr. Merck did a very natural version of my ear which I do not mind.

My healed ears show the knots as mentioned during the presentation and mine in particular show two knots as per below:

Unless pointed out, no one notices the two knots. The back version of the knot/or scar is more pronounced than in front but goes along the curve of your ear so not easily detectible. The back just looks like a cat scratch but 1 cm tops.

Feeling-wise, every now and then I have to use my hand to prop my head when sleeping on my left side because I feel discomfort on laying on my ear To qualify, the discomfort is from me reaching what appears to be the maximum “stretch” my helix (at 2 o’clock) can take. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 equating to feeling a bump to 10 screaming in excruciating pain, I would say the discomfort is a 2 to 3 tops. Note I never relieved my ear of the stitches in the first 2-3 months by sleeping on it as, again, I have low pain tolerance and didn’t really want to provoke unnecessarily pain. Perhaps sleeping on it earlier would’ve allowed me to get my ear used to the stitches earlier? I will never know.

Also, my in-ear wireless earphones (Jabra Elite 65T active) hurt my affected ear if I wear it too long like my left ear is more sensitive. I figure it’s because it is hitting the knots in my anti-helix. It doesn’t bother me enough to switch to smaller earphones but this is definitely something one should consider when doing any ear surgery. I have no issues with other smaller earbuds.

Overall, I still think the surgery was worth it even though the ear corrected I needed seemed minor. I can gladly say I am able to tuck my hair behind my ears, wear a pony, or cut my hair very short – that’s all that really matters to me.

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