Your brand new baby is perfect. But sometimes, even perfect newborns have ears that look awkward, are misshapen, or don't fold right. About 30% of the time, ears outgrow any unusual appearance on their own. The rest of the time, ear deformities need surgery to reshape.
As a parent, you want the best for your child. If you could avoid your child having an operation, you would. And you'd protect your child from the stigma, teasing, and bullying that comes with looking different. The good news is, at UVA Children's, you can do both.
Ear Molding at UVA Children's
Our pediatric ear experts give your baby's ears a chance to grow normally, without surgery, from the beginning. We can mold your infant's ear in a procedure that is:
Having your child's ear deformity fixed right after birth will steer your child clear of future issues. And you won't fill your child's days with worry and concern.
Critical Timing: Earlier is Better
The best chance for success happens before your baby reaches the 1-month mark.
After that, the ear stiffens and holds its shape. This happens because, by 1 month, your baby loses the estrogen they’re born with.
How Long Does Ear Molding Take?
Fitting the device takes 20 minutes in our office. You'll then return for a follow-up visit every 2 weeks for 4-8 weeks. After 2 months wearing the device, your infant's ear will appear normal.
How Much Does Ear Molding Cost?
Most ear shape issues have no impact on your child's hearing. That means insurance often doesn't cover it. Learn how to get a cost estimate.
If we don't treat your baby early enough, you'll have to wait until age 5 to operate on the ear. We have to wait for the ear to grow.
When Ear Molding Isn't an Option
Not every misshapen ear qualifies for ear molding. If your infant's ear lacks cartilage or skin, they might have hearing loss. Your baby might even lack an ear canal.
In these cases, you can depend on our pediatric ear and audiology specialists. We have a national reputation for expertise in rebuilding ear canals in children.
In fact, we treat the whole spectrum of ear defects. We can reconstruct your child's ear with precision. Our ENT teams ensure that children with ear issues look, feel, and hear well.