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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can ears be reshaped without surgery?

    My newborn son has a misshapen ear that looks like it is folded over.

    Is there some way that this can be corrected without surgery?

    Someone said I should use a headband or tape to pin the ears back. Does this work?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 4


    Dr Jillian Tomlinson

    Hand Surgeon, Plastic Surgeon (Reconstructive & Cosmetic)

    Dr Jill Tomlinson is a fully qualified plastic, reconstructive and hand surgeon. After graduating dux in her year at University High School, Jill completed medical … View Profile

    Thank you for your question. It is possible to correct ear deformities without surgery. Ear deformities are best treated in the first weeks of life, as the younger an infant is, the more malleable their ears are, so the better the ears respond to molding. This is attributable to high oestrogen levels in newborn infants, which increases the elasticity of ear cartilage. As infants get older their ears become less malleable, so early treatment is recommended. 

    Experts agree that infant ear molding is effective and can prevent the need for future surgery to correct ear deformities. I provide a specialist ear molding assessment and fitting service in my East Melbourne rooms, using the EarWell Infant Ear Correction System and Ear Buddies. Please visit my website for comprehensive information on infant ear molding

  • 1




    Dr Naomi McCullum

    Cosmetic Physician

    My cosmetic clinic is known for providing natural results, we specialise in dermal fillers, anti-wrinkle injections and laser.I enjoy making patients happy by improving their … View Profile

    It is possible to reshape ears without surgery.
    Some ear deformities may be improved with injection of dermal fillers.
    Please see my blog post about a case of ear deformity correction using dermal fillers.
    This case was about a woman with a history of ear deformity secondary to ear surgery. Dermal fillers were injected to correct deformity and ear asymmetry with great results.

  • 2


    Dr Ross Farhadieh

    Plastic Surgeon (Reconstructive & Cosmetic)

    Mr Farhadieh, is a former recipient of the prestigious Surgeon Scientist Scholarship and an internationally renowned and recognised Australian trained plastic surgeon. Most recently he … View Profile

    Thank you for your interesting question. Ear surgery is a very exclusive and nieche subpsecialty in plastic surgery. In practice it is thought that in the first few weeks birth espcially during the first 48 hours that cartilages are malleable due to maternal circulating oestrogen hormones. There is some evidence that with continuous moulding during the first 6-8 weeks of life there is a possibility to mould the ears. 

    In most cases however this requires surgery, I would suggest that if you are considering it, that you inquire from your plastic surgeon if they have had specific ear reconstructive surgery training beyond their  training. The two basic approaches that demonstrate different philosophical schools relate to simple moulding by sutures or cartilage breaking and scoring systems. Generally, in Australia the latter technique is popular, however many world experienced surgeons from Europe and espcially the UK suggest that we use the suture moulding technique as possible arguing albeit rare, complications with the cartilage destruction in other techniques do not justify the risk. 

    I hope this has helped. 

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