The Stahl’s ear deformity is an abnormal congenital problem that results in the top of the ear looking excessively pointy. Some people refer to the Stahl’s ear as a vulcan ear deformity because these characters in the Star Trek series had pointy ears. Because of the pointed shape of the ear, many will also refer to the ear as looking elfish.
The Stahl’s ear occurs when the ear has an unwanted, extra fold or ridge in the cartilage. Alternatively, there may just be a misdirected ridge of cartilage rather than an extra one. This abnormal fold, commonly called the transverse crus, crosses the scapha region of the ear and extends toward or into the helical rim. The end result is disruption of the natural helical contour with a development of an abnormally pointy ear.
If caught within the first few months of life, it can be managed with non-surgical methods to help mold the ear to the desired shape. Unfortunately, if this is not done or is not successful, surgery will be needed later in life. This is when it is vitally important that you consult with a plastic surgeon, such as Dr. Hilinski, who has true, dedicated experience in cosmetic ear surgery. The surgery to help correct a Stahl’s ear deformity involves techniques that are not too dissimilar from those used during macrotia scapha ear reduction, which Dr. Hilinski performs very regularly. Essentially, the extra ridge of cartilage in the Stahl’s ear is excised, or cut out. This typically also involves removal of a segment of the helix, which is then sutured back together to create a more natural, normal looking ear.