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Ear Abnormalities

Operating Room for Plastic Surgery

At Connecticut Children’s Division of Plastic Surgery, we treat a wide array of ear conditions. Ear abnormalities can be a source of social and physical discomfort for children. Together, with you and your child, our team will develop the best treatment plan for your child’s condition.

Services We Offer

Newborn Ear Molding

Non-surgical treatment in the form of ear molding can be pursued in newborns. Ear molding is a non-surgical treatment, using a small splint applied to the top of the ear, to correct certain types of ear deformities involving the outer cartilage. These deformities may include prominent, cupped or constricted ears.

Ear molding is not an option for all ear conditions. The optimal time to start molding is within the first few weeks of life, so it is important to schedule an appointment for an evaluation as soon as an ear deformity is suspected.

Conditions We Treat


Microtia is a congenital (present at birth) condition in which the cartilage of the outer ear is underdeveloped. The severity of this condition falls along a spectrum. It may be anything from a very minor deformity of the ear to severe anotia, which is the complete absence of the ear and ear canal.

The cause of microtia is unknown. The ears form during the first few weeks of pregnancy. In some cases, the ear defect is caused by a genetic mutation. If your child has microtia, your physician may order further imaging.

Early assessment of ear abnormalities is important so we can determine the best treatment option for your child. It may also be important to ensure your child’s hearing has been formally tested, so talk to your provider about this.

Treatment for ear deformities is determined on a case by case basis. In more severe deformities, treatment involves a multidisciplinary team approach, including a plastic surgeon, an ENT specialist, and other members of the team.

Every individual is different, and you, along with the plastic surgeon and ENT specialist, will determine the best course of action for your child.

Prominent Ears

When a child’s ears protrude from the side of his or her head, this condition is diagnosed as prominent ears. This can be the source of emotional distress and even bullying for children. There are options for surgical treatment for prominent ears in children.

Surgical treatment for prominent ears is referred to as an otoplasty. An otoplasty is a surgical procedure to change the position, shape or size of the ear. This is usually performed in children at least 5-6 years old. The exact procedure depends on the child and the degree of deformity.

Other ear deformities:

  • Ear keloids or skin tags
  • Split or torn earlobes
  • Traumatic ear deformities
  • Congenital ear deformities (growths, earlobe clefts)

If your child suffers from any of these ear conditions, or others, please call Connecticut Children’s Division of Plastic Surgery at 860.545.9360 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced providers.

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