Ear Molding In The Newborn: Treatment Of Congenital Ear Constriction
Lily Daniali, MD1, Kameron Rezzadeh, B.A.2, Cheryl Shell, APN1, Matthew Trovato, MD1, Richard Ha, MD1, HS Byrd, MD1.
1Pediatric Plastic Surgery Institute, Dallas, TX, USA, 2Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.
Background: Traditional treatment of congenital ear constriction has centered on surgical intervention. Neonatal ear molding presents a novel treatment for correction of ear constriction.
Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of patients treated with the EarWell Infant Ear Correction System from 2011 to 2014. Data regarding age, duration of treatment, and complications were gathered. Using standardized photographs, the quality of outcomes were independently assessed by two plastic surgeons and rated using a new ear constriction classification system.
Results: Out of 484 ears, 127 ear constrictions (70 patients) were treated with the EarWell System. Average age at treatment was 12 days; mean treatment duration was 37 days. Before treatment, ear constriction was ranked in one of three classes, each with increasing grades of severity: class I, 45 ears, (35%), class II, 69 ears, (53%), and class III, 13 ears, (10%). On average, ear molding was found to improve constriction class by 1.3 points. Overall outcomes were good to excellent in 90%, with 96.7% inter-rater reliability.
Conclusions: This is the most extensive study to date evaluating the outcomes of the EarWell system for correction of ear constriction. In severe cases with residual constriction after molding, the ear form was optimized, allowing for easier surgical correction at a later date.
Figure 1: Class 2 constricted ear before (a) and after (b) treatment with EarWell infant ear correction system
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