The doctor will:
- Examine and test the child for other physical abnormalities of the kidneys, bones of the face, skull, and facial nerve
- Ask if you have a family history of abnormal-shaped ears
To determine whether the pinna is abnormal, the doctor will take a series of measurements with a tape measure. Other parts of the body will also be measured, including the eyes, hands, and feet.
All newborns should have a hearing test. A child with pinna abnormalities should also have a hearing test. Examinations for any changes in mental development may be performed as the child grows. Genetic testing may also be done.
Generally, no treatment is needed for pinna abnormalities because they do not affect hearing. However, sometimes cosmetic surgery is recommended.
- Skin tags may be tied off, unless there is cartilage in them. In that case, surgery is needed to remove them.
- Ears that are prominent or that stick out may be treated for cosmetic reasons. During the newborn period, a small framework may be attached using tape or Steri-Strips. The child wears this framework for several months. Surgery to correct the ears cannot be done until the child is 5 years old.
More severe abnormalities may require surgery for appearance or cosmetic reasons, as well as for function. They usually are done in several stages to create and attach a new ear.