Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Ear Deformities Program

Located in the Division of Plastic Surgery at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Ear Deformities Program offers surgical repair, non-surgical treatment options such as ear molding, and multidisciplinary team care for children with a wide variety of ear deformities and related disorders.

What we treat

Abnormal development or deformities of the ear anatomy can cause a variety of complications, ranging from cosmetic issues to hearing and development problems, and can impact connected cartilage, muscles, bones and nerves.

Normal external ear anatomy


The ear is shaped like the letter C, formed by the helix and the earlobe. Inside the C is the letter Y, formed by the antihelix and the superior and inferior crura. The central part of the ear is shaped like a conch sea shell, and is called the concha. There is a small bump in front of the ear canal called the tragus. On the other side of the concha is another bump called the antitragus.

The ear is made primarily of cartilage covered by skin. The earlobe has no cartilage and is made of skin and fat. Although there are some muscles attached to the ear, most people cannot control them, which is why only a small number of people can wiggle their ears. The external ear is supplied by four different sensory nerves.

Ear deformities

Our multidisciplinary team treats a wide variety of ear deformities affecting the structure, appearance and function of the ear. Learn more about the ear deformities we treat, including:

  • Protruding ears
  • Constricted ears
  • Microtia (underdeveloped external ear)
  • Cryptotia (partially hidden ears)
  • Anotia (total absence of ears)
  • Stahl’s ear
  • Ear tags (accessory tragus)
  • Earlobe deformities
  • Traumatic ear deformities
  • Split earlobes
  • Cauliflower ear
  • Ear keloids
  • Ear hemangiomas

Make an appointment

Patients with ear deformities are evaluated in the Division of Plastic Surgery, located on the first floor of the Wood Ambulatory Care Building. To make an appointment, please call 215-590-2208.

For directions, maps and parking information, as well as additional details about insurance, referrals, and what you should plan on bringing with you to your appointment, visit our appointments page.

Our team

Infants, children, and adolescents with ear deformities will receive care from an experienced team of board-certified plastic surgeons, nurse practitioners, and nurses.

As a part of our multidisciplinary program, your child benefits from coordinated team care that brings together a variety of pediatric specialties. Patients treated by the Ear Deformities Program have direct access to experts from the Division of Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose and Throat) and the Department of Audiology at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

If your child has associated kidney abnormalities, the Divisions of Nephrology and Urology will be part of the integrated care he receives. In addition, pediatric experts in Dermatology may be involved in the treatment of hemangiomas that warrant medical suppression with beta blockers. All of these specialties are integral parts of the team, and referrals to other divisions will be made when appropriate.


Reviewed by: David W. Low, MD
March 2013

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