What do you do if your baby is born with a malformed ear? You check the ear the first 7 to 10 days and see if it doesn’t self-correct. Then, if things don’t improve in the first week or two, you contact Ochsner Hospital for Children and ask about a safe, tested, pain-free solution called ear molding. Ear molding has proven to be extremely successful in correcting ear malformations in babies under six weeks old.

A Short Window of Opportunity

There was time when nothing short of surgery could be done for the 15 to 29% of all babies who are born every year with one or two misshaped ears. Now, if you act quickly, a malformation can be corrected with ear molding. The ear molding device works in just a few weeks without any pain ­– before years of teasing can take their toll on your child’s self-esteem. No anesthesia is required and it can be done right in the doctor’s office.

Our team is an expert with these safe, out-patient procedures, that have help countless infants. There is only a short window of time when the procedure works – while the child is still under six weeks old when the ears are still soft and pliable.

Why Ochsner

Ochsner Hospital for Children is home to Michael Friel, MD, a world-class pediatric plastic surgeon. One of our team’s mission to inform both pediatricians and new parents about these incredible new devices that are changing the lives of children everywhere. This double-fellowship trained, triple-board certified surgeon treats several infants with ear moldings every month.

Dr. Friel works with both the EarWellTM and InfantEarTM devices which both have their advantages, depending on the abnormality. Ochsner Hospital for Children is the only center in the area that uses InfantEar.

Sometimes your child needs an ear mold, and sometimes you just need peace of mind.

If Dr. Friel feels your child’s ear malformation will self-correct or is not severe enough for ear molding or surgery later on, he will tell you so.

Meet Michael Friel, MD

Make an Appointment

Even if your baby is older than just a few weeks, we suggest you come in for an appointment. Children a few months of age have been treated successfully with ear molding. To schedule a consultation, call our office directly at: 504-842-5338.

Please speak with our Medical Assistant, Alyssa, to get your child’s appointment scheduled right away and within the window of time that will allow this treatment to be most successful.

Deformities Ear Molding Can Correct

If all parts of the ear are present, ear molding may be the solution. Ear deformities that can be corrected with ear molding include:

  • Constricted ears (or lop or cup ears) ­– when the outer ear is flattened or rolled
  • Cryptotia – when the upper ear is beneath the skin of the scalp
  • Helical rim deformities ­– Deformities of the outer rim of the ear
  • Protruding ear – an ear that sticks out more than 2 cm from the head
  • Stahl’s ear (Spock ears) – an ear that is pointed
  • A combination of the above

Referring Pediatricians

Research shows that more than 70% of the time infant ear malformation will not improve on their own and some may worsen. If you have a patient with a malformed ear, remember ear molding works best in weeks following delivery. Ear molding has an overall success rate of 94%.

To refer a patient to Ochsner Hospital for Children for ear molding, send an email to michael.friel@ochsner.org.


This procedure is covered by most major insurance plans; however, this is not a guarantee of coverage. If you’re insurance doesn’t cover it, a cash option is available.

Ochsner accepts all major insurances.

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