Microtia is a congenital condition in which the outer ear is absent or under-developed. The condition generally only involves one side, however, there are children who can have both ears affected.
There are four types, or grades, of microtia:
- Grade 1: There is a slight deformity, but the ear is mostly normal and the ear canal is open.
- Grade 2: The outer ear is less developed than in grade 1, the ear canal may or may not be open.
- Grade 3: A small bud of cartilage is present and the earlobe is generally not in its usual position. In almost all cases, the ear canal will be closed (aural atresia).
- Grade 4: The ear is completely missing (anotia).
How is Microtia Treated
Treatment for microtia depends on the severity of the deformity. Annapolis plastic surgeon, Dr. Bryan Ambro, is experienced with all types of microtia and offers a variety of treatments depending on the specific case.
Dr. Ambro and Annapolis Plastic Surgery are partners with Annapolis ENT, one of the most established and respected ENT practices in the Annapolis area. This partnership enables us to treat hearing loss (if present) as well as the cosmetic appearance of the ear.
Microtia Surgery – What to Expect
Reconstructive surgery for children with microtia is usually recommended in the early school year ages (7 – 10 years old). For slight deformities of the ear, Dr. Ambro may perform an otoplasty to remove excess cartilage and reshape the ear.
For more more significant types of microtia, Dr. Ambro may discuss options for a prosthetic (artificial) ear or a surgical reconstruction. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of treatment and Dr. Ambro will work with you to determine which will yield the best outcome.