Individuals who are born with or later develop “bat ears” are often interested in exploring alternatives to otoplasty, the surgery designed to correct the shape and placement of the ears. The truth is, there simply are not many viable alternatives to otoplasty as of yet, although there are some promising new advances that have been made in recent years. In the meantime, there is a definite lack of effective alternatives to otoplasty that will produce long term results. This means that most patients will eventually opt for surgery, although they may experiment with alternatives to otoplasty, or use them as short-term solutions to their problems.
Probably the most commonly used alternatives to otoplasty are home remedies such as tape, glue, or other adhesive material. Individuals, especially children, may use these alternatives to otoplasty to attempt to secure their ears to their heads in a non-surgical manner. There are several problems with these alternatives to otoplasty, not the least of which is that the solution is not permanent. Using the adhesive alternatives to otoplasty can irritate the skin on and around the ear, and may actually interfere with the ability to have an otoplasty procedure at a later date.
Currently, doctors are working to develop more acceptable and effective alternatives to otoplasty, although the ability to correct this problem non-surgically is limited. The only non-surgical alternatives to otoplasty currently available are plastic splints that are applied to the ears to encourage the correction of folds and creases. The main drawbacks to these alternatives to otoplasty are that they typically must be used in infancy, and have to be worn for weeks or months in order to achieve even limited results. Until more effective alternatives to otoplasty are developed, the surgical procedure remains the best solution to misshapen or asymmetrically placed ears.