What is Microtia?

Microtia (small ear) is a malformation of either one or both ears, occurring by itself or as part of hemifacial microsomia, Goldenhar syndrome or Treacher Collins syndrome. Usually, it affects only the right side (one in 8,000 live births). Sometimes, both sides are affected (one in 25,000 live births). Microtia affects boys more often than girls. Typically, the outer ear (pinna) is visibly malformed, low-set, partially or completely absent, with only skin tags to indicate any growth at all; with hearing loss of about 60 percent.

Microtia Treatment.

For treatment, we categorize microtia according to four grades of severity, determining the level of treatment required. In all cases, we find that an exterior sound conduction device is critical for proper sound/speech formation. Although we don’t yet understand the cause of microtia, we can treat it with great success. Often, it is possible for children without an exterior ear opening to hear after corrective surgery. Depending on the extent of the condition, ear reconstruction may be needed; we can carry this out via a four-part surgery beginning at the age of five or six when the ears have reached about 90 percent of their adult size.

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