Dr. Velargo Offers Simple, Non-Surgical Solution for Infant Ear Deformities
Dr. Parker Velargo is the only doctor in New Orleans and only the second doctor in the state of Louisiana to offer correction of the infant ear deformities within the EarWell system.
Infant ear deformities occur at a rate of between 20% and 35% of all births. Dr. Velargo wants to actively address this issue in New Orleans with the EarWell procedure.
What is EarWell?
Prior to EarWell, the only viable option for a child with an ear deformity had been a surgical procedure called an otoplasty. Otoplasty procedures are typically performed at approximately 5 years of age prior to the child starting school. Often, the child has already faced bullying and teasing. While Dr. Velargo does perform surgical otoplasty on children and adults, the EarWell procedure helps to correct most deformities in infancy without surgery if the child is treated early enough.
EarWell is a non-surgical and painless procedure that corrects most infant ear deformities. It permanently reshapes the ear during the narrow time when circulating maternal estrogens remain at high levels in the child. Best results are achieved when EarWell therapy is initiated during the FIRST THREE WEEKS OF LIFE.
Studies have shown that ear deformities can negatively impact a child’s physical and emotional development. Children with facial abnormalities can suffer peer hazing, ridicule and bullying. As a result, they often exhibit low self-esteem, anxiety, elevated social isolation and emotional withdrawal.
EarWell not only removes the prospect of a surgical option, but also frees a child from development years filled with peer taunting, bullying and teasing.
Will My Child’s Ear Deformity Self-Correct?
Most misshapen ears do NOT significantly self-correct. New research suggests that 70% of the ears deformed at infancy either stay the same or get worse.
How Does It Work?
The EarWell system consists of four basic parts:
- A “posterior cradle” that fits over the ear and adheres to the skin behind the ear.
- A “retractor system” that shapes the rim of the ear.
- A “conchal former’ that shapes the center of the ear.
- An “anterior cradle” that holds all of the parts together and provides shaping force
(Above, left) The scalp hair is shaved around the ear to facilitate adherence of the “posterior cradle” against the scalp. (Above, right) The posterior cradle is placed. The arrow is pointing to the “posterior conformer” that helps to shape the inner rim cartilage. (Below, left) Placement of the “retractor system” to shape and hold the rim in position (black arrows). Dr. Velargo artistically shapes the ear with these retractors. A soft compressible “conchal former” is placed within the conchal cavity (blue arrow). This does NOT block hearing and is used to help shape the ear as well. (Below, right) The clear and perforated “anterior cradle” attaches to the “posterior cradle,” allowing mild forces to be applied to the conchal former and retractor system.
Using these four parts, Dr. Velargo artistically reshapes the cartilage of the deformed ear into the desired curvature and shape of a normal ear.
Over 90% of the babies treated with the EarWell Correction System have gotten good to excellent results. Common ear deformities such as prominent ear, Stahl’s ear, cup ear, lop ear, lidding, helical compression and conchal crus can be successfully treated with the EarWell Infant Ear Correction System.
Is EarWell Covered by Insurance?
EarWell is covered by many health insurance plans. We will work with you and your insurance company to try and obtain coverage for the EarWell procedure.
Contact Dr. Velargo at the New Orleans Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery for a Consultation
If your newborn’s ears appear deformed or misshapen, you may make a consultation appointment at our New Orleans office by contacting us at 504-533-8848. Upon examination, if the ears are sufficiently deformed, Dr. Velargo will apply the EarWell device to permanently correct any ear deformity. EarWell corrects over 90% of newborn ear deformities within a 4-6 week course of therapy if the treatment is initiated within the first three weeks of life.