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Non-Surgical Otoplasty: Is It Possible?


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by Dr. Steven Wallach

You may be wondering if it’s possible to correct your ear shape and size without the use of surgery. Unfortunately, unless you are a extremely gifted baby, that isn’t possible. However, if you have a newborn with oddly-shaped ears, ear molding is a non-surgical procedure that can help reshape the ears and preclude future otoplasty.

Timing Is Everything

If a baby is born with some kind of ear deformity, chances are actually quite good that the odd shape will correct
itself on its own. However, if after a week of life the ear hasn’t straightened itself out (literally), ear molding is the best case.

If ear molding is not started soon after the baby’s birth, however, the cartilage will become firm and too hard to mold without significant damage. If this is the case, you must wait for surgical otoplasty, which will become a viable option once the child reaches the age of 5 or 6.

Ear Molding for Infants

If you are, however, able to mold the ear in time, there are a variety of ways in which you can go about it. Your child’s doctor will be able to determine the best way. Popular and effective treatments include taping the ears to the side of the head, splinting the ears, and using putty (similar to dental putty) to help mold the ear. These treatments—and more—can also be combined. For example, often ears will be molded and taped.

This molding should be worn continuously and should also be adjusted by a doctor weekly. This continues for a few months until the ear holds it shape without the molding for several days.

What If It’s Too Late?

If you didn’t mold your baby’s ear in time, or if you yourself have deformed or large ears that weren’t treated as an infant, there is still hope. You might need to go under the knife, but plastic surgery is always an option. You don’t have to live with weird ears for your whole life. If you have any questions about how to best treat your obnoxious ears, come in and talk to Dr. Steven Wallach.

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