What is Newborn Ear Molding?
Newborn ear molding is a nonsurgical approach to correcting congenital ear deformities and malformations. It is like braces, but for the ears. Using custom molding, we put the ear in the anatomically correct position and the ear memorizes this shape as the cartilage hardens.
What is the ideal timing of treatment?
Infants are born with high levels of maternal estrogen; this estrogen gives the ear cartilage it’s pliability. Estrogen sharply declines after birth until the infant is around 6 weeks old. As the estrogen declines, the cartilage becomes harder, cementing its permanent shape. Research shows patients achieve excellent results with molding if started within the first 2 weeks of life. Success rates drop significantly if treatment is started after 3 weeks of age. Prematurity or occasionally specific anomalies can extend this timeline.
How long is ear molding treatment?
Typical treatment is between 6-8 weeks. During this time you will see a provider every 2 weeks to apply new custom molding.
What are the advantages of ear molding?
Ear molding can correct ear deformities or malformations before self-consciousness begins later in childhood. Ear molding reduces the need for surgical correction and can often achieve better outcomes.
What are the downsides of ear molding?
Ear molding is relatively well tolerated, the downsides include having to shave a portion of your child’s hair, skin irritation/breakdown, and have the keep the ear and molding dry.
Learn More with Dr. Cone
The standard of care for this deformity has historically been surgery, but recently, a new device known as Ear Wells, have been able to dramatically re-shape the cartilage of the ear without the use of surgery. Watch and learn more on the Best Docs Network.
Wellspring Pediatric Plastics encourages you to contact our practice within the first week of your child’s life to see if newborn ear molding is the right approach. Schedule an appointment by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (512) 600-2888.