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Types of Ear Deformities And Their Treatment Options

Types of Ear Deformities And Their Treatment Options

Ear is one of the most important features of the face. They not only help one to hear but the outer shape of the ear adds up to the aesthetic appearance of the face. While most people are blessed with healthy and fully functional ears, some of the unfortunate people experience ear deformities since birth, due to accident or trauma. It is very common to see ear deformities in newborns

These ear defects at birth can affect the shape and position of the ear. An approximate of 6-8% of children are born with ear deformities. This condition impacts the growth and development of the cartilage present around the ears causing it to affect the functioning and appearance of the ear. In some children, the ear deformities may resolve on their own as they grow. Other children either need surgical or non-surgical medical intervention to correct their ear deformities.

Ear deformities, if not treated, can cause significant social impairment among patients. It can become a reason for anxiety amongst people as they may develop an inferiority complex. With the help of ear reconstruction surgery in India performed by Dr.. Parag Telang many children and adults are able to get back a healthy ear shape. Read on to know more about ear deformities, types, causes and treatment.

Causes of Ear Deformities:

Ear deformity is a rare condition that is not often diagnosed in the prenatal ultrasound. The exact cause of it is unknown. The possible causes of microtia include:

The blockage of blood supply due to pressure from the fetus position against the inside of the mother during the first trimester causes the underdevelopment of the external ear.

Drop in the oxygen level causes the development of the ear to cease.

Excessive drugs and alcohol during pregnancy cause fetal deformities. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome has been known to cause microtia in kids.

Microtia can also result due to certain medicines consumed during pregnancy. Hence, prescription-only medicines must be consumed after consulting a qualified doctor.

Different types of ear deformities which can affect an individual are as follows:


Anotia is a congenital ear deformity which is present at birth. Anotia is referred to as an absence of the entire external part of the ear. This condition can be caused to one ear, which is more common, or to both the ears. Anotia is a rare condition affecting 1 or 2 children per 10,000 births. It is the most severe and extreme level (grade 4) of the ear deformity. The child with anotia might face hearing issues.


Microtia is a congenital deformity where the child is born with a small and malformed external ear. In this birth defect, the ear does not fully develop during the first trimester of pregnancy. The word “microtia” is derived from the Latin words “micro” and “otia” which means “little ear”. Microtia ears are usually smaller in size, often only consisting of a tiny peanut-shaped lobe.


Lop ears refer to an ear deformity where the top rim of the ear is either folded over, wrinkled or tight. Lop ear is caused due to the relative shortage of skin i.e. underdeveloped helical cartilage and also due to the smaller cartilage framework as compared to the other side. The child should be of at least 5 years of age to perform the surgical correction of the deformity. However, some of the deformities can also be corrected through ear moulding which is a non-surgical procedure.


Cup ear deformity is a common deformity that is characterised by ears that project or stick out further leaving a gap of more than 2 cm from the middle portion of the ear to the back. This is a congenital deformity that involves a malformation of helical rim i.e. the top rim of the ear. Due to the lack of complete skin formation, this condition occurs. The ear does not unfurl and looks like a cup.


Cryptotia is often also known as hidden ear because in this condition the cartilaginous frame is normally developed but is contained within a pocket of skin. This ear deformity is defined as the condition where the upper portion of the ear is buried under the skin of the scalp. In this situation, the ear fails to separate and rise from the skin. Ear Reconstruction in the case of Cryptotia, involves lifting the ear out from under the skin, creating a groove behind the upper ear and making use of flaps of the surrounding skin to cover the ear cartilage. This surgery is usually carried out in a single stage and is a day procedure.


Bat ear or prominent ear is an abnormally protruding human ear where the concha is large with poorly developed anti-helix and scapha. It may be unilateral or bilateral. The concha is large with poorly developed antihelix and scapha. It is the result of malformation of cartilage during primitive ear development in the early phase of life. A child with prominent ears often has a burden of being unacceptable from peers that may get continued in adulthood. Prominent ears can be treated if consulted at the right time.


Ear deformity caused due to car accidents, dog bites, sports injuries, etc. are known as traumatic ear loss. Partial or complete traumatic ear loss can occur as a result of these injuries. Loss of the external ear in an adult causes psychological distress. This often impacts an individual’s social life and personal relationships.

Ways to Diagnose Congenital Ear Deformities:

Genetic analysis

Hearing and language screenings.

Physical examination.

Imaging modalities-CT scan and MRI of the temporal bone.

Systemic examination of the renal, ophthalmic, gastrointestinal, and cardiac anomalies is also performed.

Treatment Options for Ear Deformities

Gone are the days when reconstruction of microtia (underdeveloped ear at birth) was considered as one of the most taxing plastic surgeries. The new method of reconstruction involves 2 stages only. Ear deformities or malformation can be either by birth or due to some injuries. Be it any reason, the technique used by Dr. Parag Telang at The Microtia Trust, Mumbai, requires rib cartilage to reconstruct the ear. 


It is one of the safest techniques as no foreign substance is inserted into the body. So, the surgery should be delayed enough to have sufficient cartilage to make an adult-sized ear. One should wait for at least when the child is 9 years old before the surgery.


Before undergoing any ear reconstructive surgery, the surgeon physically examines the condition of the ear in order to know that the defect is in the outer ear or in the inner earlobe too. The surgeon will examine whether there is any syndrome or abnormality associated with the external auditory canal. For the assessment of hearing, the surgeon will prescribe the rinne test, weber test, and many others. Through the physical examination, the surgeon can analyse the health of the patient and even the area of damage. The surgeon will even examine the tympanic membrane for detecting any hearing loss.


Using the rib cartilage is the most preferred technique for ear reconstruction surgery. The 2 stages of the surgery are as follows:

Stage 1: In the first stage, a skin pocket is created at the site of the ear by reshaping the tissue and thinning the skin to impersonate the ear skin. The patients are always advised to stay in the hospital for around 3 days in the first stage.

Stage 2: The second stage of surgery is performed in order to make it look like a normal ear, sticking out from the head and needs to be put into its proper position. Therefore, the patients are always advised to stay in the hospital for around 2-3 days in the second stage.


Dr. Parag Telang is one of the most renowned surgeons who has successfully performed more than 500 ear reconstructive surgeries. 


If one is looking for an ear reshaping surgery in England, one can consult Dr. Parag Telang to achieve the best surgical outcomes and an improved quality of life. Consult today!

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