Ear deformities in newborns and infants are not a rare condition. Usually caused by positioning in the womb or passed on genetically, surgery has typically been an option – though the thought of such a procedure might be off-putting to new parents. Recently, physicians at CEENTA have begun to offer a nonsurgical method of treating pediatric ear deformities: the EarWell™.
Before diving into the EarWell™, it is important to look at ear deformities that are prevalent in young children.
Pediatric ear deformities come in many forms, including:
Some ear deformities can resolve or improve naturally, but others benefit from some means of correction. If left untreated, ear deformities become permanent and lead to cosmetic and functional issues. Children with these deformities may have a small element of hearing loss or may be susceptible to bullying.
Classically, pediatric ear deformities can be remedied with surgery. Parents of newborns may be hesitant to consider surgical correction, and new parents might be even more on the fence. Luckily, there’s the EarWell™ to be used in infants less than 3 weeks of age
The EarWell™ is a nonsurgical device used to correct ear deformities in young infants. It is non-invasive and acts as a mold to shape the ear into a proper position by adhering to the skin. Made of a larger posterior shell, a rubber retractor for shaping, a conchal bowl former, and an outer lid, the EarWell™ can be a comfortable way of keeping your baby’s ears looking healthy. It is useful when the infant still has circulating maternal estrogen, which is before 6 weeks (about 1 and a half months) of age, though the device works best when started at 3 weeks of age.
For parents who are looking for a nonsurgical method to correct their infant’s ear malformations, Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A. is one of the first practices in the area to offer the EarWell™ as a new treatment. Dr. Susan Yanik, who practices out of our Concord, Mooresville, and Salisbury office, is excited to inform parents about this life-changing device. She is a proponent of the EarWell™, stating, "While we as facial plastic surgeons love to recreate misshapen ears in the operating room, we understand that parents always want the least invasive option for their children. Thus, it is great to have an easy, non-invasive option to provide parents and their infants to hopefully avoid a future surgery.”
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Yanik to see if the EarWell™ is right for your child! This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. New patients can make appointments online with our physicians in North and South Carolina. Current patients can also make appointments through myCEENTAchart with physicians they have already seen.
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