Ear Deformities

Ear deformities may range from very mild to very complex. Some ear deformities are related to congenital syndromes but most are isolated. It is important to know that the ear reaches adult size at around six years of age. Therefore, most surgeries are performed after this period.


Absence of an Ear

Microtia is the near absence of the external ear. Often the deformities are related to a condition called hemifacial microsomia which includes abnormal growth of the lower jaw and upper jaw. Abnormal kidneys, spine and heart may also be present and should be evaluated. An ear, nose, and throat doctor should also evaluate the ear to determine the presence of hearing and need for hearing aids or surgery to reopen the ear canal. The ear can be reconstructed at 6-7 years of age from the patient's ribs (cartilage). The process takes about 3-4 operations over several months. Other options include using a prosthetic ear that attaches to the bone or using a framework for the ear made of plastic. It is important to remember that the hearing in the other ear is critical and should be treated carefully (frequent hearing tests, treatment of ear infections).

microtia pre op
microtia post op


ear surgery

pediatric ear surgery

Prominent Ears

In some children, the ears appear to be sticking out from the head. This makes the ears appear flat and very noticeable. It may also make it difficult to wear glasses or hearing aids. The fact is that most of these ears are flatter than normal because they are missing a bend of the ear. A procedure (otoplasty) can place the ears closer to the head and give the normal bends to the ear. This operation is done around 6 years of age.


Constricted Ear

Often called "cup ear" or "lop ear", the deformity involves a loss of height of the ear. The constriction may be mild to severe. Because of the range of severity, each deformity should be addressed individually.

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