The three terms constricted ear, lop ear and cup ear describe the same deformity. The deformity stems from a malformation of the upper edge of the ear (upper third). The helix appears rolled or folded. Depending on the severity, there are varying degrees of severity up to a narrow cup shape formed by the spiral rim cartilage and the scapha (the arcuate depression of the auricle between the helix and the anthelix). This can also cause the earlobe to be pushed forward, making the condition similar to the protruding ear.
What are the characteristics of a Constricted Ear, Lop Ear or Cup Ear?
The exact cause of these types of ear deformity is unknown, but the trigger is a tissue deficiency (cartilage or skin) that causes the helix (the ear rim cartilage) to not develop sufficiently. This means that an ear narrowed in this way is not simply misshapen, but is missing components.
In severe cases where normal auricular components are missing, the constricted ear represents a form of microtia in which parts of the outer ear are malformed, smaller, or missing completely. However, unlike constricted ear, microtia is often associated with hearing loss and inner ear defects.
Symptoms or features of constricted ear include:
- reduced ear size
- cup deformity (folded forward and downward)
- low ear position
Is there an alternative to ear surgery?
Surgical treatment of a Constricted Ear, Lop Ear or Cup Ear or a kinked ear, lop ear or floppy or cup ear varies in procedure depending on the specific ear constriction. It may be necessary to reduce the size of the upper ear, perform a graft, or even reposition the entire ear in severe cases. However, in mild ear deformity, correction of the existing cartilage may be sufficient for reshaping.
In contrast, during the first few weeks of life, when the cartilage is still soft and malleable, painless reshaping can be performed within four to six weeks of treatment using the EarWell® Infant Ear Correction System. This non-surgical, permanent method achieves 90% success rate and cost less than otoplasty (surgical ear reconstruction).
What are the prospects of non-invasive treatment?
An EarWell® treatment is based on the shell former part of the system applying gentle pressure to the shell ridge. In this way, even mixed ear deformities can be specifically corrected using the individual components of the EarWell® system. Pain-free and lasting results are achieved in about 90% of cases. You can get an impression of the effect of the EarWell® system in our before and after comparisons.