This ear deformity is the most most common ear abnormality in children, occuring when the ears "stick out" farther from the skull than normal. Although this condition is not dangerous, many children with prominent ears are embarrassed by their appearance and may be subject to teasing by their peers. For this reason, we offer surgical correction of prominent ears to children beginning as early as 5 years of age.
Causes of ear prominence
Ear prominence may be limited to the upper, middle or lower third of the ear. Prominent ears may be the result of excess conchal cartilage, abnormal positioning of the ear cartilage or absence of normal folding of the ear cartilage when the ear is forming.
If the prominent ear deformity is noted in the first days of life, the abnormal shape and projection of the ear may be corrected non-surgically by ear molding techniques, such as the EarWell infant ear molding device. We are pleased to offer this non-surgical treatment in our office. In order for molding treatment to be most successful, treatment should be started in the first 2 weeks of life. In some cases, molding treatment may be started later.
When molding is not a possibility, either because of the deformity or because of later diagnosis, surgery may be required. Surgical treatment of prominent ears may involve removal of excess conchal cartilage, creation of the absent ear folds using specialized suturing techniques, repositioning of the ear or some combination of these techniques. Although the timing of surgical correction varies, most surgeons perform surgery to correct prominent ears when the child is at least 5 years of age. Surgery is typically done as a day surgery procedure.