Thank you for your question. Darwin's tubercle is a congenital ear condition which often presents as a thickening on the helix at the junction of the upper and middle thirds. This is a normal anatomic variant present in about 10% of the population. If the appearance of this condition causes concern, it can be improved with a minor surgical procedure performed under local anesthesia in the office. This is typically not covered by insurance as it is considered cosmetic. Following surgery, the ear displays a more smooth contour and the incision site is usually not noticeable.
You are correct. This is a Darwin's tubercle. This cartilage outgrowth in the helical rim can be easily removed in the office under local anesthesia with a minimal scar and great result.
Dear hello, thank you for your question. Ear pinning surgery or otoplasty involves reshaping or
reducing the cartilage and skin of the ear to obtain a more attractive
appearance. Consult with a board certified facial plastic surgeon to see if you
are a candidate for ear surgery. Good Luck!
You are correct in your diagnosis and there are many simple office procedures that can address it. But its not likely to be covered unless you have psych issues and can prove it after being evaluated as it truly is a minor variant of ears.
You do have a prominent Darwin's tubercle on the left ear and it could be corrected through a small, inconspicuous incision on the ear and with reshaping/removal of the cartilage that is causing the bulge. It is difficult to say if this could be covered by your insurance since your company may not consider it "medically necessary." You would have to seek out a local surgeon to find out the charges for this procedure.
As you’ve had this feature since birth, it is most probably a Darwin’s tubercle which is particularly big in your case and only present in one ear. It can be easily removed by a small excision. I don’t know whether this procedure is paid by the medical insurance in your country. You will have to ask the surgeon performing the procedure about the cost.
Yes, Darwinian tubercles can be highly variable in shape but this appears to be one. A small incision can be hidden inside the rim of your ear or on the backside of the ear and that cartilage can be shaved down. This typically creates a smooth contour and a scar that is very difficult to detect. I hope this information is helpful.
Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
Darwin tubercle can be shaved through an incision near the tubercle.
Samir Shureih MD. FACS