Nonsurgical correction of congenital ear abnormalities in the newborn: Case series
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OBJECTIVE: To determine whether a simple, nonsurgical treatment for congenital ear abnormalities (lop-ear, Stahl's ear, protruding ear, cryptotia) improved the appearance of ear abnormalities in newborns at six weeks of age. METHODS: This is a descriptive case series. All newborns with identified abnormalities were referred by their family physician to one paediatrician (WGS) in a small level 2 perinatal centre. The ears were waxed and taped in a standard manner within 10 days of birth. Pictures were taken before taping and at the end of taping (one month). All patients and pictures were assessed by one plastic surgeon (JWT) at six weeks of age and scored using a standard scoring system. A telephone survey of the nontreatment group was conducted. RESULTS: The total number of ears assessed was 90. Of this total, 69 ears were taped and fully evaluated in the study (77%). The refusal rate was 23%. In the treatment group, 59% had lop-ear, 19% had Stahl's ear, 17% had protruding ear and 3% had cryptotia. Overall correction (excellent/improved) for the treatment group was 90% (100% for lop-ear, 100% for Stahl's ear, 67% for protruding ear and 0% for cryptotia). In the nontreatment (refusal) group, 67% of the ears failed to correct spontaneously. No complications were recognized by the authors or parents by six weeks. The percentage of newborns in one year in the perinatal centre with recognized ear abnormalities was 6% (90 of 1600). CONCLUSIONS: A simple, nonsurgical treatment in a Caucasian population appeared to be very effective in correcting congenital ear abnormalities with no complications and high patient/parent satisfaction.
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