Nonsurgical Ear Molding

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Evolution of Nonsurgical Ear Molding

The decision to treat an ear deformity is one that should be shared among parent and physician. Treatment is aimed at restoring a more normal appearance to the external ear by reshaping any irregular cartilage. Treatment consists of both non-surgical and surgical options. The most effective non-surgical option is ear molding.

· Ear molding – the cartilage (the tissue that gives the ear its shape) of an infant differs from that of an adult. An infant’s ear cartilage may be molded into a new shape, unlike that of an adult’s. This pliability of an infant’s ear lasts only a few weeks so it is critical that the treatment be started quickly. Ear molding consists of applying a custom-fit, soft plastic mold that corrects the ear deformity and holds the ear in a more normal position.

· Surgical treatment – surgery is reserved for bothersome ear deformities that persist. Surgery is performed no sooner than 5-7 years of age, when the ear growth has neared completion. Unlike ear molding, this technique involves a plastic surgeon making an incision behind the ear and reshaping the cartilage framework.

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