ECS Dr. Merck, Ear Correction System, Constance, Germany
This forum aims at comparing Dr. Merck's stitch method with traditional methods as well as documenting experiences with both kinds of operations.
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How did you get the idea?

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PostPosted: 02.05.2006 19:36    Post subject: How did you get the idea? Reply with quote

Hello Dr. Merck,
I forgot to asked something.
How did you get the idea?
Why didn’t other doctors get the idea?

Bernd M.
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Dr. Merck

PostPosted: 02.05.2006 19:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Bernd M.

Here's how I got the idea:

1. In 1995 I read the publication of a doctor from Israel called Peled. He described a method with which one can insert a thread under the skin without cutting it. He operated with this method, but he also thinned the cartilage (involving a skin incision, as it is always done with the traditional methods). I didn?t see a big advance in his method, because reshaping the cartilage still brings high risks and can produce unattractive deformations of the ear.
2. Key to my innovation was an additional observation that I made with nuns. Near Konstanz there is a large cloister where many older nuns spend their "retirement". Whenever one of them would come to my practice for audiometry, I always noticed that when they removed their caps, I found ears flat against the head. It was due to their caps, and how long they had been wearing them. This taught me that cartilage can reshape itself, when it is forced into a new position over the course of a long time. In this way, I also came to the important conclusion that what I had learned during my studies at the university was false. Big wounds are not necessary to permanently change the position of an ear.

3. Suddenly I realised that the stitch method of Peled would only be an improvement if the cartilage was left alone. I determined that this could be possible, with correct insertion of biocompatible threads that remain in the ear. I suppose you could say I replaced the nun's cap with the threads. With the exception that I would never bring the ears into such a close/flattened position on the head, of course.

In 1996 I found the first patient willing to try this new method with me. He and I were so thrilled with the results that I immediately decided to operate with this method only from then on. No patient ever requested the traditional method with me again. Everyone wanted this new innovation.

Why didn't other doctors pick up on this method? I think because
a) they are too set in their ways with the traditional methods,
b) didn?t have the luck to have nuns as patients,
c) didn?t read, take notice, or understand the publication of Peled.

Kind regards
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