Dr. Shareef Jandali is a board-certified plastic surgeon practicing in New York
City and Connecticut. He completed his plastic surgery training at the University
of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He has been in
practice for over 12 years and specializes in ear molding for infant ear
deformities. He treats newborns from all areas of Essex County, such as Newark,
Montclair, Bloomfield, Livingston, East Orange, and West Orange, for ear
molding at his Manhattan office.
What is newborn ear molding?
Ear molding is a non-surgical procedure performed in the office that is used to reshape a baby's ears
when there is an ear deformity present. Ear molding avoids the need for future corrective ear surgery
(otoplasty) later in life.
How did you start doing ear molding?
I started performing ear molding after my daughter was born over 10 years ago. She had a left ear
deformity that did not correct on its own after birth. I knew it could be easily fixed with molding, but I
didn’t perform it at that time and didn’t have the supplies needed. Our pediatrician didn’t know of
anyone performing ear molding. We called two Children’s Hospitals and neither had any plastic surgeons
that performed it. So, we brought her down to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where I did my
training, so that my mentor could perform the procedure. She obtained a great symmetric result after 5
weeks of ear molding. I decided I wanted to start performing ear molding in my two offices in New York
City and Connecticut. I have since developed my own techniques and specialized molds to be able to
offer it to older babies (up to 3-4 months old) and babies with more complex deformities.
At what age should ear molding be started in babies?
Ideally, ear molding should begin within the first few weeks of life – the sooner the better. A newborn's
cartilage is still soft and malleable from estrogen from the mother. The estrogen levels start to drop by
5-6 weeks old, so molding should be started before the ear cartilage starts to harden and then
maintained in the corrected shape as it hardens. The earlier ear molding is started, the better the results
and the shorter the treatment period.
What is the oldest age you will offer ear molding?
I have performed ear molding up to 3-4 months of age for certain types of deformities. I discuss with
parents that I can usually still obtain an improvement, but I may not be able to obtain full correction or
perfect ear symmetry. Parents of newborns with ear deformities in Essex County, NJ, should reach out
to our office early after birth for potential ear molding.
What types of misshapen newborn ears can be treated with ear molding?
Ear molding is performed to correct misshapen or prominent baby ears. Some examples of common
treatable ear deformities include:
Prominent Ears: Baby ears can stick out too far from the sides of the head, and this occurs due to poor
formation of a fold in the cartilage that holds the ears back. Ear molding can form a well-defined fold to
bring the ears closer to the head.
Folded or Pointed Ears: These are baby ears where the top of the ear folds over or the upper ear
cartilage is pointed. Ear molding can unfold or round out the pointed aspect of the outer ear cartilage.
Constricted Ears: These are infant ears where the outer rim of cartilage is constricted, tight, and curled
forward. This can lead to an ear that looks squished and smaller, but also sticks out more. Ear molding
can gently stretch this tight cartilage and pull the ear back into a more normal position.
Uneven Baby Ears: Sometimes there are a few deformities present in one ear. Any ear asymmetries can
usually be corrected with molding.
How is ear molding performed?
Do you offer EarWell ear molding for newborns in Essex County, NJ?
Is there an ear splint that is used for molding?
Ear molding is performed by creating a customized mold or ear splint, either with the EarWell device, or
by making one out of soft medical-grade silicone gel. The mold bends and holds the ear in the correct
shape and gently stretches the cartilage until it hardens in the new shape. I use the EarWell device on
some specific deformities, but I usually make my own customized molds, which fit babies’ ears better as
Is ear molding painful for newborns?
Not at all. The procedure of placing the mold on the baby is painless and it does not cause any
discomfort once in place. Most babies are sleeping, feeding from a bottle, or using a pacifier as the ear
molding is being performed. The soft, custom-made ear splints do not cause excessive pressure. Most
babies completely ignore the ear molds and don’t touch them. Babies can still go on their sides and be
placed in car seats. Parents can still use hats and headbands as they normally would. We ask parents to
place a cloth over them when nursing or feeding from a bottle. The molds don’t affect hearing
development as they don’t cover the ear canal.
How long does the ear molding process take?
The duration of ear molding depends on what age molding is started, the type of the deformity, and the
severity of the deformity. In most cases, it takes 4-6 weeks of molding to obtain the necessary
correction. Follow ups are every 1-2 weeks to check on progress, clean the ear, and adjust the mold for
changes in ear shape and growth.
Is ear molding effective?
Yes, ear molding is very effective with success rates of almost 100% when started in the first few weeks
What should parents in Essex County, NJ, know about any possible risks with ear
Ear molding is very safe as it is a non-surgical procedure and uses medical grade soft silicone parts and
adhesive. There is a small chance of mild side effects, such as skin irritation or redness underneath the
tape or mold. These side effects are always temporary and resolve on their own.
How many ear moldings do you perform a year?
I perform about 100 ear moldings a year between my New York and Connecticut offices.
Are there many specialists for ear molding in Essex County, NJ?
There are very few plastic surgeons that perform ear molding. Not many surgeons are trained in the
various techniques necessary to perform ear molding in a safe and effective manner. When choosing an
ear molding provider, you want someone with many before and after photos, showing their expertise
correcting a wide variety of ear deformities.
Is ear molding covered by insurance?
Most insurance companies cover ear molding and consider it medically necessary to correct a congenital
ear deformity. We obtain insurance authorization and check benefits before the first appointment.
How do parents in Essex County learn more about ear molding or contact your
Parents can call our office at (917) 708-0018 or visit our website dedicated to ear molding: Here!