Microtia is a congenital ear deformity that can affect the appearance, the hearing and the psychological status of the patient.
There are three primary options for reconstructing a microtia patient's ear, each offering distinct advantages and disadvantages over the others.
- Medpor Ear Reconstruction: A synthetic material is used as a framework that is covered by the body's own tissue. It may start as early as age three with consistent results and the reconstruction can be completed in one or two outpatient surgeries.
- Rib Cartilage Ear Reconstruction: Uses the patient's rib cartilage to create an ear that is covered by the body's own tissue. The technique uses the body's own tissue exclusively, but removing rib cartilage requires hospitalization and a permanent chest scar.
- Silicone Prosthetic Ear: Sculpting an artificial ear that attaches to the body either with adhesive glue or with a device that is surgically implanted into bone. The ear can be made to look very realistic, with less risk than surgical reconstruction. The matching skin color may be difficult and it requires frequent care and periodic replacement.