Microtia is a congenital ear deformity where the individual is born with a smaller ear or no outer ear at all. Every year, about one child in 5,000 is born with this ear condition in the U.S. with varying degrees of deformity. It can occur on one or both ears and with or without impact to the hearing and function of the ear. At Eden Plastic Surgery Institute, we offer advanced microtia surgery to reconstruct the affected ears in children and adults at our medical center in Miami.
Microtia can vary from an ear looking slightly smaller than a “normal” ear to no outer ear, ear canal or ear drum at all. The type of surgery to reconstruct the ear is dependent on the patient’s type or grade of microtia. The four grades of microtia include:
- Grade 1 – The ear is completely formed, but it is smaller than normal – often the earlobe and lower part is standard in size, but the upper ear is smaller.
- Grade 2 – The ear is much smaller and more deformed, usually with a formed earlobe but a deformed and not fully developed upper ear.
- Grade 3 – The ear is very small and resembles a peanut in shape – this is the most common grade of microtia, usually without a developed ear canal.
- Grade 4 – There is no external ear formation at all and referred to as anotia, a very rare ear deformity.
Both grades 1 and 2 usually have a more developed lower ear and need upper ear reconstruction. For grades 3 and 4, full ear reconstruction may be necessary to create a functional and natural-appearing ear or ears.
Repair and Reconstruction for Microtia
Microtia surgery can be performed in childhood, usually starting at age 5 or 6. Ear repair and reconstruction can include harvesting cartilage from the patient, usually from the rib area, to create a new outer ear. For those with grade 3 or 4 microtia, an implant or prosthetic ear can be used when the entire outer ear needs to be replaced.
Dr. Ali Charafeddine is a board certified plastic surgeon with extensive training at some of the best plastic surgery clinics in the country. If you or your child were born with a congenital ear deformity, contact us at Eden Plastic Surgery Institute. We can schedule a microtia surgery consultation with Dr. Charafeddine at our medical center in Miami.