There are a wide range of congenital ear deformities that are not as severe as microtia but difficult to treat as well. Common ear deformities, such as a cupped ear deformity, Stahl’s ear, cryptotia and prominent ears, are noticeable and could lead to psychosocial problems in childhood and teenage years. If the ear deformity is recognized at the time of birth to 3 weeks of age, molding of the ear is possible. This requires external splinting over a period of 6 weeks to 2 months. The ear splint is applied strategically in correcting the congenital ear deformity. The benefits of ear molding during infancy far outweigh the risks involved with external ear splinting, which is injury to the ear skin from pressure and skin infection. Dr. Kim uses the Ear Well, which has been established as an effective external splinting system.
For congenital ear deformities that are more severe such as microtia, then molding may not be possible. Then, a surgical strategy to correct the microtia ear deformity will be needed. For grade 3 microtia, Dr. Kim prefers the MEDPOR implant technique as a one stage total ear reconstruction with or without correction of the ear canal atresia.