Up to 30% of infants are born with some type of ear deformity. While some deformities are severe and may need plastic surgery later in life to change their appearance, some congenital ear shape issues can be resolved without surgery. Ear molding has been used for decades to reform the ear in the first few weeks of a child’s life, helping change the shape of their ear and avoid invasive cosmetic surgery down the road.
How Does Ear Molding Work?
When a child is born, they have higher estrogen levels in the body during the first two months of their life. This elevated level of estrogen can impact the pliability of cartilage and skin, making it easier to reform. Ear molding uses slight pressure to reshape deformed ears. It is not painful and can be very effective in improving the appearance of an irregular ear shape.
Plastic surgeons who specialize is ear reconstruction and cosmetic otoplasty can often provide ear molding for infants. This must be done in the first few weeks to take advantage of the higher levels of estrogen before it decreases around eight weeks. A special mold is placed on the ear to conform the shape and improve the appearance. Treatment can take 2-6 weeks, depending on the deformity.
If an ear deformity cannot be fixed with ear molding, there are other options available. Often otoplasty can be performed when the child is four or five, reshaping the ears to give them a more balanced appearance before the child starts school. This can help minimize teasing from other children, helping them feel confident in their appearance as they grow and mature.
Posted on behalf of:
Atlanta Plastic Surgery Specialists, P.C.
2001 Peachtree Road #630
Atlanta, GA 30309
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