Latest update: February 27, 2024
Medically reviewed by: Jordan Frey MD


An Earfold Implant is a small metal piece placed in the ear cartilage to reduce the prominence of protruding ears. The implant is placed under the skin and sits on the front of the ears. It is made out of biocompatible nickel-titanium alloy nitinol with 24-carat gold plating.

Ear pinning with this implant is less invasive than traditional otoplasty. During an otoplasty, surgeons make incisions to remove cartilage from the ear to create a new shape. Earfold surgery has a lower risk and is a simpler alternative. It does not require any removal of cartilage as the implant's curve bends the ear into shape. As the implant cannot fix significant prominence or reduce the size, suitable candidates would only have upper-ear protrusion. The procedure is best suited for adults and children over seven years old.

The process takes less than 30 minutes. It will begin with an examination where a Prefold, a temporary positioner, is used to show the possible results. Once the surgeon has marked the ears, they will inject a local anesthetic to the site. They make a tiny incision at the front of the ear. The doctor will insert the Earfold implant using a tool called the introducer. Once the implant is settled, the ear will immediately shape itself around it. The incision will then be closed and covered with surgical tape. 

The procedure requires no downtime, and patients can return to work immediately. It is normal to feel soreness, swelling, and bruising at the site. Patients can opt for pain medication to ease the discomfort. Doctors recommend patients sleep on their backs and avoid swimming or any contact sports for the next four weeks. Patients should also avoid wearing any earrings or jewelry to prevent the risk of infections.

Results are permanent, and the implant is long-lasting. It can also be removed if patients are unhappy with the results. Like most surgeries, the Earfold procedure also comes with its risks. These include implant visibility on the surface and implant shifting.
Operation Time
Inpatient Period
Number of Appointments
Recovery Period
1-2 days

Prominent ears correction with earFold™ - How it works

This video shows the use of EarFold, an implant designed to correct prominent ears. Using animations, the video expresses the defect and shows the steps taken to correct it. The procedure is explained in detail along with information about the duration. The narrator explains the advantages of this treatment.

Q&A: 'Otoplasty versus ear fold what is the difference, and which is better?'

Dr. Fulvio Urso-Baiarda is a plastic surgeon in Berkshire, United Kingdom. He sits down with Eterno 360° Clinic to explain the differences between an Otoplasty and the use of EarFold. He explains that a key difference that determines which technique is used will always be the anatomy of the patient. He covers the instances that make EarFold viable. He talks about the advantages and disadvantages of each technique.