Earwell infant ear correct system
Infant Ear Abnormalities
Nearly 30% of babies are estimated to be born with ear shape abnormalities. Of these, almost half are born with deformities that persist, while the other half correct themselves within the first few days of life. Usually when the child reaches approximately 5-7 years of age, surgery becomes an option for correcting the persistent deformities.
Unfortunately, while surgery is generally safe and effective, it does come with a downside, that being the need for anesthesia, the risk of possible recurrence, and variable outcomes. For some families, the significant cost of surgery also can be a deterring downside. Many insurance providers do not cover the cost of cosmetic ear surgery. Thankfully, there is an opportunity at the LeBeau Clinic to correct the most common ear deformities without the need for surgery.
What is ear molding?
A baby’s ear deformity, when recognized in the first few days of life, might be able to be corrected by non-surgical molding of the ear since the cartilage is still soft and pliable. The ear cartilage is easily shaped because it is so soft when a baby is first born. After the first 4-6 weeks of life, due to hormone and biochemical changes that occur in the baby, the cartilage becomes more firm gradually. The goal of ear molding is to reshape the ear while the cartilage is still so soft and pliable, and to retain that new shape as it firms over time. The LeBeau Clinic is pleased to provide this non-surgical correction option for your baby using the EarWell infant ear molding system.
What is the EarWell?
The EarWell Infant Ear Correction System is created and manufactured by Becon Medical. It consists of a posterior shell, some soft rubber retractors that help shape the ear, a former for the bowl of the ear, and a breathable, soft rubber lid that helps keep all the parts in place.
The posterior shell is stuck to the skin around the baby’s ear. Sometimes, the baby must have a small area of hair shaved off to allow a smooth area for the shell to be placed. Once in place, the retractors are put on to give a normal shape to the ear. If necessary, the conceal bowl former is placed to help the shape of the conceal bowl of the ear, and finally the lid of the device is gently snapped into place to complete the application of the EarWell device.
In order for the EarWell device to maintain the shape of the ear while the cartilage forms, the device must remain in place for 4-6 weeks. While it is ideal for it to remain in place the entire time, often it may loosen or fall off altogether. In the event of it beginning to fall off, we will replace it in the office. If the device comes loose, it is important to let us know immediately. Typically the device needs to be replaced at least once during treatment, sometimes twice. The outcome is not negatively affected when replacement is required, as long as the device has been replaced quickly.
Is EarWell right for your child?
While EarWell is not recommended for children with badly malformed or missing ears, it is quite effective in the treatment of prominent ears, abnormal cartilage folding, ear cupping, ear helical rim problems, and crytpotia (or buried ear). Please feel free to schedule a consultation with Dr. LeBeau to determine whether or not your child is a good candidate for the EarWell procedure, and if it will be good option or not.
EarWell works best when administered within the first 7-10 days of life. The LeBeau Clinic in Pensacola, FL realizes that is not easy to start this early in all cases, therefore we will also consider starting the placement at 3-4 weeks of age. The end results are harder to predict when placement occurs at that time, because the ear cartilage has already begun to harden and firm up. We do not recommend starting EarWell therapy after 6 weeks of age.
Please feel free to contact our office regarding your child’s treatment. Dr. LeBeau will be happy to discuss the best options for your child.
Dr. LeBeau will be happy to discuss the best options for your child. Request a consultation by email or call our office at (850) 308-1738 to make an appointment.