Analysis and Treatment of Congenital Auricular deformities
Scott Bartlett, MD1, Catherine Chang2.
1University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA, 2MGH, Boston, MA, USA.
BACKGROUND: The incidence of congenital deformities of the auricle is increasing and recent data suggests that many of these deformities do not self correct as has been taught for decades. It has also been recognized for over 30 years that neonatal ears can be molded to normal in the first few weeks of life, obviating the need for surgery at a later date. Although various materials have been used in ear molding, many have shortcomings in ease of application and retention. For these reasons the authors developed a novel device for management of these conditions.
METHODS: Over the last 6 years we have refined an ear molding system consisting of; 1: A Velcro base piece 2: Helical rim conformers 3:Stabilizing rim piece 4: Extruded silicone gel matrix 5: Cap. This has been applied to over 150 congenitally deformed ears ( Stahl, Cup/lop, Helical rim deformity, Cryptotia, Constricted, Combination deformity)
RESULTS: Age at initial treatment was between 7 days and 3 months. Duration of treatment varied from 2-8 weeks. Bilaterality of the deformity was noted in 52% of patients. All ears improved with the majority attaining normal or near normal status. The device needed to be removed prematurely in less than 5% of cases due to the development of a heat ("diaper") rash: no ears suffered any adverse sequela. Representative cases will be reviewed.
CONCLUSIONS: Early recognition and treatment of congenital ear deformities is successful in the majority of cases when approached with a novel ear correction system, and obviates the need for surgical management later in life.
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