The ear - what is "normal" and "abnormal"?
Are people staring at your ears? Do they stick out too far? Are both sides the same? There are many factors that go into making the ear look balanced and "normal." When we are bothered by the ears, we tend to hide them with our hair or clothing. Children who feel uncomfortable about their ear problems are generally more cooperative during treatment and happier with the outcome. Stay alert to the child's feelings and do not insist on the surgery until your child wants the change. An early evaluation can be a good teaching experience of what surgery has to offer.
Ears are usually fully grown by the age of four years. These measurements are ONLY APPROXIMATIONS. The best way to find out about your external ears is during an in office consultation. Dr. Bermant can then help you explore you possible plastic surgery (otoplasty) options. There are many types of ear surgery to correct and reshape the various deformities.
Size and position
- The fully grown ear protrudes from the scalp about 1.8 - 2.0 cm (0.7-0.8 inches) at its midpoint.
- Ear length 5.5-6.5 cm (2.1 - 2.6 inches)
- Ear width 3.0-4.5 cm (1.2 -1.8 inches)
- Width / Length 50% to 60%
- Helical Rim (Helix) 7 mm (0.3 inch) or about 10% of the height
- Ear vertical axis 15 to 30 degrees posterior (top further back than the bottom)
Ear protrusion is a function of the size of the concha and the folding of the cartilage.
- Concha / Scapha angle greater than 90 degrees
- Conchal bowl height less than 1.5 cm
- Angle head to ear
- female less than 21 degrees
- male less than 25 degrees
Other ear deformities:
- Constricted ear - hooding or folding of the helical rim.
- Lop ear - the top of the ear is folded down and forward.
- Cup ear - malformed protruding ear with the top folded down and a large concha (cup). It seems small due to the folds.
- Shell ear or Scaphoid ear Deformity - curve of the outer rim as well as the folds and creases are missing.
- Stahl's ear - first reported in the 19th century now often called "Spock's ear." There is an extra fold and pointed top.
- Macrotia - Ear is too large.
- Microtia - Ear is too small.