Microtia is an ear deformity that affect an estimated one out of 6.000-12,000 children at birth. The word microtia means ‘little ear’, due to the underdevelopment of the ear that is apparent from this birth defect. There are many different stages of microtia, with some children having a deformed ear, others having a smaller ear and those that are born with virtually no ear at all. Some have normal hearing while others have limited or no hearing from the affected ear.
Ear reconstruction for microtia is a complex and highly specialized procedure. Although it is performed by a plastic surgeon, it is more complicated than a standard otoplasty procedure. Creating an entire ear is an intricate endeavor in itself, plus working to improve hearing while managing aesthetics is all part of the complicated nature of this operation.
Some surgeons may use a prosthetic ear to replace the deformed or missing ear but whenever possible, a real ear is preferred by most patients. Using a sculpted rib bone graft, an ear can be constructed that is made from the patient’s own genetic material, making it more likely to be accepted by the body. This procedure is usually not attempted until the child is at least four years of age or older.
Microtia ear reconstruction can give children born with this condition an improved appearance which can also help with their ability to hear. It is important for their self-esteem and confidence as they mature. However, this is not a surgery that should be performed by just any plastic surgeon. Those that specialize in microtia ear reconstruction are best suited to complete this very delicate and crucial surgery.
Posted on behalf of:
Atlanta Plastic Surgery Specialists, P.C.
2001 Peacthree Road #630
Atlanta, GA 30309