Microtia / Ear Reconstruction

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Microtia, also called aural atresia or ear atresia is an ear deformity wherein one or both of the ears are malformed or underdeveloped. This congenital condition generally results in conductive hearing loss. Our surgeons have focused a significant portion of their careers to ear reconstruction, and a majority of Dr. Boutros’ overseas mission work focuses on ear reconstruction.

Rib Cartilage Graft Reconstruction

Our surgeons prefer rib cartilage grafts for microtia reconstruction. The procedure provides natural and lifetime results with minimal possibilities of risk. Our surgeons take natural, living cartilage from a patient’s own rib to reconstruct the ear. Children ages five to seven are ideal ear reconstruction candidates.

Often, reconstruction is accomplished with two or sometimes three procedures. Once the rib cartilage is extracted, our surgeons sculpt and mold it to make it look identical to an ear, sometimes using a patient’s other intact ear as a guide. The ear cartilage is then placed beneath the skin where the ear should be. This allows the skin to take the shape of the cartilage, and a natural shape is formed. The surgery takes approximately 5 hours to complete. A majority of patients recover fully in 3 days or less.

The second half of the procedure is performed after four months, giving enough time for the ear to heal enough to withstand another surgery. Following the initial surgery, the ear remains flush against the side of the head. In order to give the ear the proper projection away from the skull, our surgeons place a small block of cartilage in a pocket underneath the skin. In some more rare cases, a third procedure is required for patients who need their ears pierced for wearing earrings. This is often done in the office with local anesthesia in cooperative patients.

Benefits of Ear Reconstruction

  • Rebuilt ears after trauma or due to deformity
  • Natural and lifetime results
  • Complete and quick recovery in 3 days
  • No risk of rejection
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The Doctors at My Houston Surgeons have either authored or reviewed and approved this content. Page last updated:


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