Infant Ear Molding for Newborn Ear Deformities | Hudson County Moms
Dr. Shareef Jandali is a board-certified plastic surgeon practicing in New York City. He completed his plastic surgery residency training at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He has been in practice for over 12 years and specializes in ear molding for newborn ear deformities. Dr. Jandali treats newborns from Hudson County, NJ, including Jersey City, Bayonne, Hoboken, North Bergen, Union City, and West New York, for non-surgical ear molding at his Manhattan and Connecticut offices.

What is ear molding in babies?
Ear molding is a non-surgical procedure using ear splints or “ear braces” to reshape a baby’s ears when the ears are misshapen at birth. Ear molding is performed to avoid future corrective ear surgery (otoplasty).

How did you get started performing ear molding?

I started performing ear molding after my first daughter was born over 10 years ago. She had a mild ear deformity on one side. I knew it could be easily fixed with ear molding, but I didn’t perform it at that time and had none of the supplies needed. Our pediatrician didn’t know of anyone performing ear molding. We brought her down to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where I did my training. My mentor performed her ear molding and she got a great result after 5 weeks of molding. I started performing ear molding in Manhattan to treat newborns from New Jersey and New York. I have developed my own techniques and customized molds to be able to offer it to older babies (up to 3-4 months old) and babies with more complex deformities.

At what age should ear molding be started in babies?
Ear molding should be started as soon as possible, ideally within the first month after birth. A newborn’s ear cartilage is still soft and moldable from the estrogen that is still in the baby from the mother. The estrogen levels start to drop by 5-7 weeks old, so molding should begin before the ear cartilage starts to harden. The earlier ear molding is started, the shorter the duration of treatment and the better the result.

What is the oldest age you will perform ear molding?

I have performed ear molding up to 3-4 months of age for certain deformities. I inform parents that I can usually still obtain an improvement, but I may not be able to obtain perfect symmetry or full correction. Parents of newborns with ear deformities in Jersey City and Bayonne, NJ, should reach out to our office early after birth for potential ear molding.

What kinds of ear deformities can be treated with ear molding?
Ear molding is performed to correct misshapen baby ears or prominent newborn ears (ears that stick out). Some examples include the following:

Prominent Ears: These are newborn ears that stick out too far from the sides of the head and therefore appear too large. This occurs due to poor formation of a fold that normally holds the ears back. Ear molding can form a well-defined fold in the cartilage which brings the ears closer to the sides of the head.

Folded or Pointed Ears: These are infant ears where the top of the ear folds over or the cartilage is pointed. Ear molding can unfold or round out any pointed part of the outer ear cartilage.

Constricted Ears: These are baby ears where the outer rim of cartilage is constricted and tight, leading to an ear that looks squished and smaller, but can also stick out more (cup ear deformity). Ear molding can gently stretch the cartilage and skin and pull the ear back into a more normal position against the scalp.

Uneven Baby Ears:
Sometimes a baby’s ear can be misshapen or uneven due to a few deformities present in one ear. Any asymmetries can usually be corrected with ear molding.

How is ear molding performed? Do you use EarWell for ear molding for newborns in Hudson County, New Jersey?

Ear molding is performed by creating a customized mold, also known as an ear splint or an ear brace. This is done either with the EarWell device, or by fabricating one out of soft medical-grade silicone gel. The mold shapes the ear cartilage until it hardens in the proper shape and becomes permanent. I use the EarWell device on certain deformities, but I usually make my own customized molds, which don’t cover the entire ear and fit the babies’ ears better as they are growing.

Is ear molding painful for the baby?

Not at all. The process of applying the mold on the baby is painless and it does not cause any discomfort. Usually the baby is sleeping, feeding from a bottle, or using a pacifier as the ear molding is being performed. The soft, custom-made ear splints fit the shape and all the grooves of the ears perfectly, so they don’t cause excessive pressure. Most babies completely ignore the ear molds and don’t even notice they are there. Babies can still be on their sides and be placed in car seats without any worries. Parents can still use hats and headbands as they normally would. The ear molds don’t affect breastfeeding either – we just ask parents to place a dry cloth to cover the area to avoid any drips or spit up going into the mold. The molds don’t cover the opening to the ear canal, so they don’t affect hearing development. 

How long does the ear molding process take?
The length of ear molding varies slightly, depending on the type of the deformity, how hard the cartilage is to start, the severity of the deformity, and at what age molding is started. In most cases, it takes 4-6 weeks to obtain the necessary correction. Adjustments are made every 2 weeks or so, to check the progress and clean the ear.

Is ear molding effective in fixing newborn ear shape?
Yes, ear molding is very effective with success rates of almost 100% when started in the first few weeks after birth. 

What should parents in New Jersey know about any potential risks with ear molding?
Ear molding is very safe since it is non-surgical and uses medical grade soft silicone parts and adhesive. Occasionally, there can be mild side effects, such as skin irritation or redness underneath the tape or mold. We guide parents in what to look out for and what needs to be done if there is any sign of irritation. These side effects are always temporary and resolve on their own.

How many ear moldings do you perform a year?

I perform almost 100 ear moldings a year on babies in the Manhattan office.

Are there many specialists for ear molding in Jersey City, Bayonne, and Union City, NJ?

There are very few plastic surgeons or pediatric ENTs that specialize in ear molding. Not many surgeons are trained in the techniques to become comfortable performing ear molding in a safe and effective manner in newborns. Parents want to search for a provider with many before and after photos, showing their expertise correcting a wide range of ear deformities.

Is ear molding covered by insurance?

Yes, most insurance companies cover ear molding as they consider it medically necessary to correct a congenital ear deformity. We always obtain insurance authorization and check benefits before the first visit.

How do parents in Jersey City and Hoboken, NJ, learn more about ear molding or contact your office?
Parents can call our office directly at (917) 708-0018 or visit our website for more information:

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