Treatments and services

Ear reconstruction: Microtia

The greek word “microtia” means, in English, “small ear”. The condition occurs in 1 in 6000 babies around the world which means something around 80 children a year are born with the condition in the UK. Mostly, it presents without any other detectable problem, but it can be linked to conditions such as Hemifacial Microsomia, Goldenhar’s Syndrome, Treacher Collins Syndrome and other rarer conditions. Microtia reconstruction necessitates recreating the ear’s contours with a resilient framework for which the ideal material is the patient’s own rib cartilage. Surgeons who are experienced  in sculpting rib cartilage can reliably reproduce the contours of the ear. While there will be a small scar of around 6cm on the chest, the rib is reconstructed during […]

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Earlobe surgery

Congenital Deformity Birth deformities of the earlobe are highly variable and the many different operations that may be used in their correction reflect this fact. In some cases, surgery is a simple repair of a congenital cleft. In others, with a significant abnormality, cartilage grafts and skin grafts may be required in one or more stages. Split Earlobes Earlobes are often split by heavy earrings gradually enlarging a piercing over many years. On other occasions, when an earring is forcefully pulled the earlobe can split acutely. Repair is usually performed under local anaesthetic, is simple and repiercing is normally possible within a few weeks. Earlobe Reduction Correction of droopy earlobes is a simple and safe procedure, performed under local anaesthetic […]

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Ear Injury

Ear injuries sustained in bite or knife injuries often result in a partial amputation of the ear. Serious road traffic accidents can result in the loss of the entire ear. Major burns can also cause terrible injury to the ear. More minor deformity can result from infected piercings, particularly when the ear is pierced through the cartilage of its upper pole. Piercings can also split an earlobe and earlobe expanders can result in deformity that can only be corrected with surgery. Surgery follows the principles of reconstruction for microtia, with establishment of a resilient ear framework and coverage with a thin soft tissue envelope, being prerequisites to a high quality reconstruction.

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Revision Otoplasty Surgery

Revision surgery of the ear is usually requested following a prominent ear correction which has not achieved the desired results but occasionally follows ear reduction surgery or other cosmetic procedures. It is more complex than primary surgery of the ear and varies according to the precise anatomical issue of concern.

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earStitch

earStitch surgery is a safe , minimalist approach to prominent ear correction. The procedure takes 15 minutes per ear. It is usually performed under local anaesthetic as a day case procedure. earStitch is suitable for all ears. Whether ear prominence is due to softness of the anti-helical fold (for which an earFold might also be suitable) or to having a deep conchal bowl, an earStitch procedure can always be used. Using stitches, via a small cut on the back of the ear, the angle of the ear’s anti-helical fold is changed and the conchal bowl is set back. No bandages are required. Rapid return to normal activity. Otoplasty/ Pinnaplasty (pinning back the ears): is a surgical procedure where the cartilage […]

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Ear reconstruction

At the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, Mr Greg O’Toole MBChB MD FRCS(Plast) Consultant Plastic Surgeon and Mr Walid Sabbagh MB ChB MSc FRCS FRCS(Plast) Consultant Plastic Surgeon jointly lead Europe’s largest public hospital Centre for Ear Reconstruction for adults and children. In total, over 100 ear reconstruction procedures of varied presentation are performed every year. The internationally recognised ear reconstruction centre of excellence sees children with congenital deformity of the ear, and adults who require reconstructive surgery following trauma where patients receive first-class care from an experienced team.

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Inherited Hypercholesterolaemia

The department has a dedicated lipid team looking after patients with raised cholesterol together with clinics and expertise in cardiovascular risk prevention and weight management. It is a national centre for patients and families with inherited (familial) hypercholesterolaemia.

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Cardiac Amyloid

The Royal Free specialises in the treatment of patients with cardiac amyloidosis and works closely with the team from the National Amyloid centre.

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Carcinoid Heart Disease

The Royal Free has the largest carcinoid heart disease clinic in Europe specialising, in conjunction with the neuro-endocrine tumour unit, in treating patients with complex valvular heart disease.

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Adult Pulmonary Hypertension

The Royal Free is a national centre for adult pulmonary hypertension specialising in treating patients with scleroderma-associated pulmonary hypertension. This service comprises two dedicated consultants and a team of specialist nurses. It has acquired international reputation for its quality of service and research portfolio.

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