After studying this article, the participant should be able to: 1. Describe normal ear anatomy and development, and evaluate the patient’s ears for differences in shape, size, prominence, and symmetry. 2. Identify common congenital ear deformities, including prominent ear, macrotia, Stahl ear, cryptotia, constricted ear, and lobule anomalies. 3. Describe both early nonoperative management and operative techniques for correction of these ear deformities. 4. Be aware of advantages and disadvantages of common and emerging techniques for correction of pediatric ear deformities.
Whereas severe ear malformations such as microtia/anotia are rare, other ear deformities, such as prominent ear, Stahl ear, and cryptotia, are common. Although these ear deformities result in minimal physiologic morbidity, their psychological and cosmetic impact can be significant. Identifying these common deformities and understanding how they differ from normal ear anatomy is critical to their management. In cases where a deformity is identified in neonatal life, ear molding may obviate the need for surgery. Although various surgical techniques have been described for correction of common ear deformities, the surgeon should follow a careful stepwise approach to address the auricular deformity or deformities present. By using such an approach, complications may be minimized and predictable aesthetic outcomes achieved.