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Microtia Ear Reconstruction Surgery

Microtia Ear Reconstruction Surgery

Also known as a Congenital Anomaly of the External Ear

What is Microtia Ear Reconstruction Surgery?

Microtia is a congenital malformation of variable severity of the external and middle ear. The microtic auricle consists of a disorganized remnant of cartilage attached to a variable amount of soft tissue lobule, which often is displaced from a position symmetrical with the opposite normal ear. The direction of displacement depends on the degree of associated facial hypoplasia. Depending on the severity of the anomaly, there may be evidence of external meatus formation. Microtia commonly involves the external canal and middle ear; hence, hearing can be affected. Microtia may present within a spectrum of branchial arch defects (hemifacial microsomia, craniofacial microsomia) or may manifest as an independent malformation.

Congenital malformations of the external ear are uncommon birth defects with long-term sequelae for children and their families. The impact of such deformities on the patient can be both physical and emotional. School-aged children may be the object of teasing and ridicule and hearing loss due to associated ear canal atresia can result in learning difficulties.

What to expect during the Microtia Ear procedure?

A wonderful advancement in providing a comfortable postoperative course after reconstructive surgery has been the administration of pain medication via a pediatric epidural. The epidural is placed during the carving and sculpting of the ear. Because the children are already under anesthesia, they feel absolutely no discomfort. This has dramatically improved the post-operative discomfort. With the intra-operative epidurals, pain control is maximized. Very often, the children feel no discomfort immediately after the surgery.

An incision is made in front of the microtic vestige and a skin pocket is undermined. The upper part of the microtic vestige is usually made up of disorganized cartilage under the skin. This disorganized cartilage is removed to allow more space for the insertion of the newly created cartilaginous framework. A drain is placed in the skin pocket to allow for suction of the skin over the cartilaginous framework. This cartilaginous framework is now inserted under the skin pocket and the suction is applied. An ear protective cup is then placed for protection. The 1st of four stages is now completed.

What to expect during the recovery for the Microtia Ear procedure?

Patients will go home the same day as the surgery, with antibiotics. Very often, pain medications are not needed, yet they will be provided anyways. An ear dressing is placed for three days and the sutures are removed approximately 10 days after surgery. Contact sports are restricted for about 3 to 4 weeks and your can begin washing the hair after a few days from the surgery, but make sure to keep the ear dry. The sutures will be removed a couple of months later.

To find out more about available treatments and procedures, request a consultation with Dr. Moulton-Barrett at one of his Bay Area offices. Board certified plastic surgeon Rex Moulton-Barrett, M.D., offers advanced care and procedures for Bay Area residents. He has offices in Alameda and Brentwood, CA.

Our Clinics

Alameda Clinic

2070 Clinton Ave
Fourth Floor
Alameda, CA 94501

Phone  (510) 864-1800

Brentwood Clinic

1280 Central Blvd
Suite J-5
Brentwood, CA 94513

Phone  (925) 240-8775



Alameda Location:

2070 Clinton Ave, Alameda, CA 94501


Brentwood Location

1280 Central Blvd, Suite J-5, Brentwood, CA 94513