The ears are a major facial feature, but they aren’t usually the focus of attention. It’s when they become the focus of attention because they are too large, too prominent, or are misshapen or malformed, that patients seek the expertise of a plastic surgeon. Thankfully, surgical and non-surgical options are available to correct many common ear deformities.
Infant Ear Molding
Many children are born with misshapen, folded, or prominent (sticking out) ears. However, most ears self-correct within the first few days after birth. For those ears that do not self-correct, infant ear molding is available as a non-invasive, painless, and permanent way to correct most ear deformities. If started within the first few weeks of life, ear molding painlessly corrects 90% of ear deformities. A soft silicone mold is used to gently correct the shape of the ear cartilage. Results are usually permanent after just four weeks and most babies sleep through the entire application process.
For older children and adults, misshapen or prominent ears can be corrected by a surgical procedure called otoplasty. This is sometimes known as ear pinning when it addresses prominent ears. This outpatient procedure can be done under local or general anesthesia and involves correcting the shape and angle of the ears through a small incision hidden behind the ear. Otoplasty is often done around school age but can also be done later in life.
Torn, split, stretched, or disfigured earlobes are easily corrected under local anesthesia in the office. If repairing a torn or stretched piercing, you may have to wait several months to re-pierce your ears. Lastly… the secret to restoring youthful ears? A drop of filler or fat into the earlobes can fix deflated, drooping earlobes!
Dr. Mark Fisher is a Westport plastic surgeon with fellowship training in pediatric and craniofacial plastic surgery. He specializes in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery of the face and breast. To make an appointment please call 203-557-4356 or visit www.drmarkfisher.com