What is this deformity on my ear? (Photo)

I hAve had it since birth. I've been teased for it. I want to know how I could get it removed and how much it would be. Also the treatment for the process.

Doctor Answers 5

Darwin's Tubercle

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The combination a large bump called Darwin's Tubercle and a flat outer ear (Helix) is what is probably bothering you.  This can be improved in the office under local anesthesia.  The Helix will still be a bit flat, but the ear should look better.  Not very expensive.

Boston Facial Plastic Surgeon

Darwin's tubercle

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Hi ren,The cartilage on the outer part of your ear is giving you that shape.  I have many times fixed this problem right in the office with a ten minute procedure.  It should be quickly and easily improved.  Best of luck.

Jeffrey H. Spiegel, MD
Boston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Ear deformity

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Hello,The deformity you have is called a Darwinian tubercle. It is quite common and quite easy to fix if it bothers you. I normally perform these procedures with local anaesthesia in our minor surgery room. It only takes about twenty minutes and should not be very expensive (this will vary from doctor to doctor and where you live). Good luck!

Andres Gantous, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Lack of helical fold + Darwin's tubercle

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Your congenital ear deformity is relatively rare. It is a combination of an underdeveloped helical fold and the presence of a Darwin's Tubercle (the pointy thing on the border of the ear). Typically, the ANTI-helical fold fails to develop and is easily corrected with Otoplasty surgery. Your anti-helical fold is somewhat flat and could be improved with Otoplasty.  However, your more significant deformity is a lack of a HELICAL fold along the rim of the ear. This is a much more difficult correction and many surgeons argue that it cannot be done reliably.  The appearance of the ear can be improved, though. The Darwin's tubercle cartilage along the border can be reshaped to reflect a smoother line along the edge. Creating a natural helical fold, however, would be much more complicated. Schedule an appointment with a board certified surgeon who is experienced with ear reconstruction to see what can be attained. Good luck!

Justin Cohen, MD
Washington DC Otolaryngologist


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Dear ren11:Your congenital ear deformity can be improved with surgery. The cartilage would need to be reshaped with possible cartilage grafting.Otoplasty is a different beast all together. No one is 100% successful in exactly recreating the opposite ear - so if that is your goal, you will be disappointed. However, I think the appearance CAN be improved.  Make sure to seek counsel with a board certified facial plastic or plastic surgeon who has experience in auricular reconstruction.Good luck!Dr. E

Waleed Ezzat, MD FACS
Boston Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.