When an ear does not develop completely in the womb, it is called microtia. There are many different possible causes of congenital ear defects, some preventable, some not. Microtia, or “little ear syndrome,” can result in a mild ear deformity or almost no outer ear formation. Dr. Peter Koltz at pēkomd® is a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon who performs microtia surgery at our plastic surgery center in Toledo, OH.
Microtia is usually evident early in a child’s life. While it is common for infants to be born with misshapen ears, the ear is usually still completely developed. Most misshapen ears can be corrected with ear molding right after birth, but microtia is different. The ear does not develop fully, and there may not be enough tissue and cartilage to mold into a normal shape.
Microtia surgery is a type of ear reconstruction to restore a more normal appearance to the ear. Many parents want to explore ear reconstruction for their child’s malformed ears as soon as possible. While most children with microtia do not have hearing loss, most parents would prefer their child not be exposed to teasing or self-esteem issues due to misshapen or missing ear structure.
Congenital Ear Deformity Repair
If microtia surgery is performed in childhood, it is usually once the ear stops growing between ages 5-7. The procedure is often very complex, especially in children with very little outer ear structure. To reconstruct the outer ear shape, cartilage, skin and other tissues may be harvested from other areas in the body. For a full ear reconstruction, it may require multiple surgeries over several months or longer to achieve the desired results.
The ear structure is not only an aesthetic concern. Microtia can affect hearing, wearing eyeglasses, wearing facial masks, jewelry and hearing aid devices. Ear reconstruction surgery for microtia can improve a person’s quality of life and confidence. If you are interested in learning more about congenital ear deformity repair and reconstruction, contact us at pēkomd®. Call our state-of-the-art plastic surgery center in Toledo, OH, to schedule your microtia surgery consultation with Dr. Koltz.