Many babies are born each year with irregularly shaped ears or other ear deformities. While this can be upsetting to discover as a new parent, there’s no need to panic, as non-surgical ear molding treatments are often able to restore a normal ear shape in as little as six weeks of treatment.
What is EarWell™?
EarWell™ Infant Ear Deformity Correction System is an ear molding treatment for newborn infants with mild ear deformities that lead to cosmetic and possibly functional problems. The device consists of a posterior shell, soft rubber retractors to help shape the ear, a former for the bowl of the ear, and a soft rubber lid that helps to hold the components in place. This cradle is placed around the child’s ear to gently pull the various structures of the ear into a normal position over the course of treatment. EarWell works well because, early on, infants’ ears are soft and malleable and they’re able to be repositioned up to 3 to 5 months after birth.
EarWell™ is a safe and effective way to treat misshapen ears under the care of an expert in facial and ear anatomy like Dr. Cote. In many cases, EarWell prevents the need for ear surgery later in life, although there may be complications down the line that can’t be predicted until the ears are fully developed. Dr. Cote reports that there is about a 90% effectiveness rate with EarWell with very highly satisfying results.
How Do I Know if My Baby Needs Ear Reshaping?
The physical appearance of an ear deformity is usually enough to warrant interest in ear molding treatments. Up to a third of all births include some ear deformity, a purely cosmetic concern, or malformation, which occurs when tissue or cartilage is missing. In some cases, the mildest deformities can disappear on their own, but it’s still possible you can benefit from pursuing this procedure.
Even if you’re not sure if the appearance of your baby’s ears makes them eligible for EarWell, a consultation with Dr. Cote should be the first step toward treatment, as he can diagnose any problems and let you know whether you’re eligible for this procedure.
It’s important not to trust infant ear repositioning to anyone besides a trained EarWell physician like Dr. Cote. Negative side effects, such as continued ear deformity, ear irritation, or rash.
Who Can Get EarWell™
EarWell™ is for babies under 5 months old (the younger, the better) who have mild ear deformities and fully developed ears. Deformities such as prominent ears, ear cupping, abnormal cartilage folding, ear helical rim issues, and “buried ear” can be solved by EarWell. Issues such as microtia (“little ear”) that result in underdeveloped ears both externally and internally will likely need to be solved with corrective surgery, which Dr. Cote can also address during a consultation.
What to Expect From EarWell™
In short, expect to see a normal-looking, healthy ear or ears by the end of treatment. After initially installing the EarWell device around your baby’s ears, Dr. Cote will send you home to continue normal care for your child. Once a week, you’ll come in for a quick appointment during which Dr. Cote will adjust the device to gradually move the ears into a more normal position. A typical treatment takes 6 weeks and provides parents with peace of mind knowing their child will grow into normal-looking ears free of deformities.
If your baby’s EarWell falls off, we can replace the device in the office. It is important to let us know as soon as possible if the device becomes loose to ensure the best results. Although it can’t be guaranteed, increasingly more health insurers are covering some or all of the cost for EarWell, depending on the circumstances and diagnosis.
Recovery From EarWell™
As a non-surgical procedure, there’s no downtime or recovery time necessary after EarWell. The risks of side effects include irritation in the area the device is applied to, low-grade infections, and the potential need for correction later in life.
View More EarWell™ Before & Afters
*actual patient of EarWell™ Cosmetic Surgery
Schedule A Consultation
To learn more about EarWell’s fantastic reputation as a pain-free and highly effective way to reshape babies’ ears, schedule a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Christopher Cote today. He can examine your baby’s ears and provide a recommendation for treatment to help restore a normal appearance. Get started by calling our office or contacting us online today.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an EarWell procedure?
EarWell is an ear molding system that is used to address ear deformities in infants. Treatment with this system is noninvasive and effective at treating many common ear deformities in infants.
What causes newborn ear lidding?
A lidding ear deformity occurs in newborn infants when the continuation of the antihelical fold fails to form. This part of the ear gives support to the upper third of the ear, so when it fails to develop, lidding occurs. In other words, the ear sticks out and is more prominent.
When should EarWell be done?
Earwell works best when it is used as soon as possible after birth within 3-4 weeks.
How much does EarWell cost?
On average, Earwell costs $3000-6000. However, this treatment may often be covered by insurance.
Is EarWell covered by insurance?
EarWell is often covered by insurance because it is considered to be useful for treating congenital ear deformities. You would have to check authorization with your insurance company before proceeding.
How is a candidate?
Babies that are less than three weeks old that have a fully formed ear that is folded unnaturally are the best candidates for EarWell.
Dr. Christopher Cote and Dr. Nicolette Picerno are board-certified plastic surgeons practicing in Denver and Lone Tree, Colorado. They have over 40 years of combined experience together in facial plastic surgery. Both Dr. Cote and Dr. Picerno specialize in procedures like Facelift, Browlift, Facial Rejuvenation, Nose Surgery, and many other types of cosmetic procedures at FacesFirst.