Treatment options for microtia include:
- no treatment
- surgical ear reconstruction
- prosthetic restoration of the ear
There are advantages and disadvantages associated with each option. Surgical reconstructive options should be discussed with otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat specialists) and/or facial plastic reconstructive surgeons. Otolaryngologists and audiologists (hearing specialists) should be consulted to evaluate the hearing loss associated with atresia (absence of the ear canal). As clinical anaplastologists we are prepared to answer your questions about the benefits and limitations of prosthetic restoration of the ear.
We are happy to schedule an initial consultation for a child of any age to discuss prosthetic treatment options. Although every child is different, children who are at least six years old tend to be aware of their facial difference and are able to participate in the treatment process. There is no obligation or pressure to proceed with treatment.
We meet many teens and adults of all ages who have not had surgical or prosthetic treatment and want to explore the benefits and limitations of ear prosthetics. If you have had surgical ear reconstruction or prosthetic restoration that is unsatisfactory, we will listen to your concerns and discuss your options honestly. There is no obligation or pressure to proceed with treatment.
Some patients choose to keep their underdeveloped ear. Others decide to surgically remove the underdeveloped ear in preparation for an ear prosthesis. Maintaining the underdeveloped ear preserves tissue that could be valuable for future surgical reconstruction. However, designing a prosthesis that fits over an underdeveloped ear may compromise its form. During your consultation, we assist with decision-making by sharing examples of similar patients.
We have considerable experience creating convincing ear prostheses for individuals born with bilateral microtia (both ears underdeveloped). We have developed a systematic approach to determine the appropriate size, location and shape for bilateral prosthetic ears to ensure a natural appearance. Our system was presented at the Third International Symposium-Bone Conduction Hearing — Craniofacial Osseointegration.