MICROTIA EAR RECONSTRUCTION - Robert Morin MD

MICROTIA EAR
RECONSTRUCTION

Microtia is a congenital deformity that
occurs in 1 out of 8,000 – 10,000
births. Microtia can affect one
(unilateral microtia) or both
(bilateral microtia) ears.
The right ear is most often affected
in unilateral microtia.

Written by Dr. Morin

Microtia is a congenital deformity that occurs in 1 out of 8,000 – 10,000 births. Microtia can affect one (unilateral microtia) or both (bilateral microtia) ears. The right ear is most often affected in unilateral microtia.

Robert Morin, MD is a highly-respected pediatric plastic and Craniofacial surgeon who specializes in Microtia Ear Reconstruction in NYC. Microtia is a congenital ear deformity, frequently affecting pediatric patients. The condition can affect hearing and is treated with a corrective surgery to improve your child's appearance and self-confidence.

How it Works

Microtia affects roughly one in every 8,000-10,000 babies born in the United States. Due to his reputation for excellence and commitment to comprehensive treatment, Dr. Morin works with patients around the world. He uses microtia surgery to address both internal ear canal deficiency and external ear deformity. To develop a new ear structure, Dr. Morin utilizes a patient's own tissue and cartilage and sometimes uses MEDPOR ear reconstruction. His advanced treatments are performed on children as young as 3 years old, allowing for enhanced hearing, and advanced speech and language capabilities.

Children born with microtia will have a severely undeveloped external ear structure. There are four grades of microtia, which are classified based on the severity of underdevelopment. These grades are:

  • Grade I: Identifiable structures of the external ear are present, but are not completely developed. The external ear canal is present, but smaller than normal.
  • Grade II: External ear is underdeveloped and the external ear canal is closed, which causes hearing loss.
  • Grade III: Structures of the external ear, ear canal, and eardrum are all absent. A small knob-like structure is present in place of the typical ear structure. This is the most common type of microtia.
  • Grade IV: Complete absence of the entire ear. This grade is called anotia.

Once the healing process is complete, the ear becomes a living part of the patient’s body for life, which is why this approach is preferable for younger patients.

At this time, scientists have not pinpointed an exact cause of microtia.

Pediatric microtia surgery has a very high success rate. For young patients, Dr. Morin typically recommends rib cartilage graft reconstruction, which involves harvesting the patient’s own rib cartilage and using it to constrict the new ear. In order to construct the new ear, there must be enough rib cartilage available. As such, the surgery is usually performed on children who are at least 9 years old. The procedure is performed in two stages, spaced 6 months apart.

MICROTIA EAR RECONSTRUCTION - photo

Surgical Ear Reconstruction

Stage 1 of pediatric microtia surgery

Dr. Morin carefully removes rib cartilage from the patient and expertly shapes it into the framework of an ear. He then inserts the cartilage framework beneath the skin. The position of the reconstructed ear is based upon the position of the normal ear on the other side. When both ears are absent, Dr. Morin uses his extensive knowledge of pediatric facial anatomy to determine the best location of the ears.

Stage 2 of pediatric microtia surgery

During the second operation, the back of the ear is elevated and a skin graft is used to give it the appropriate amount of projection. Once the healing process is complete, the ear will continue to grow with the child for life, which is why this approach is preferable for younger patients.