Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery
Ear Molding Services
What is Ear Molding?
Because a newborn’s ears are very malleable during the first several weeks of life, a pediatric ENT surgeon can easily correct an ear deformity in a matter of weeks. A custom-made ear mold holds the ear in a corrected position until it keeps that shape.
The program was started more than 20 years ago by Leila A. Mankarious, MD, and, since then, has treated countless newborns using this intervention.
Mass Eye and Ear surgeons currently use customized molds as well as the the EarWell™ system to achieve the best outcomes for a wide range of ear deformities, from mild folding abnormalities to complex malformations such as cryptotia. Our experts are also trained to evaluate and diagnose any conditions which may be associated with ear anomalies.
At Mass Eye and Ear, families can have their child evaluated and fitted for molds in the same visit.
ENTs begin by assessing the architecture of the ear and determining how it should be corrected. If the family decides to proceed, the doctor will determine what type of custom ear-molding materials should be used.
Only newborns under the age of three-to-four months are considered candidates for this procedure. After four months, cartilage in the ear loses its malleability, making the molds ineffective. In the case of children outside of this window, surgical treatment of ear abnormalities can be considered at an older age.
Placement of the molds takes anywhere from 10-20 minutes per ear, depending on the complexity of the abnormality and the materials needed to correct it.
The child must wear the mold 24 hours a day for two-to-six weeks. In collaboration with the family, the doctor will decide when molding is complete.
In certain cases, a small amount of hair may need to be shaved in order for the molds to adhere properly. Mild irritation of the skin may also occur from adhesive used to hold the molds in place. This usually clears quickly once molding is complete.
Patient families interested in the procedure can determine their candidacy by making an appointment. To make an appointment at the 243 Charles Street location in Boston, please call the Pediatric Call Center at 617-573-3190.
To make an appointment at the Mass Eye and Ear, Stoneham, location, please call 781-279-0971.
Meet Our Team
Our Pediatric Ear, Hearing and Balance team is comprised of some of the world’s finest ear surgeons, skull base surgeons, balance disorder specialists and audiologists.