Ear reconstruction is necessary when the child is born with a birth defect of the external ear.
What is it?
Ear reconstruction can lead to multiple types of surgery depending on the condition. There are three types of ear reconstruction. The first is microtia, which corrects a birth deformity that causes the ear to be deformed. The second is otoplasty. Otoplasty gets rid of prominent ears. The final reconstruction is for ears that are damaged by cancer or trauma. Usually the reconstruction uses cartilage from the rib cage to reconstruct an ear.
How to prepare?
Consultation for a new ear can occur as early as year one. However, since patients usually need rib cartilage to create a new ear, patients need to wait for surgery until age 6 or 7 for the rib cage to fully develop. In order to complete consultation for a new ear, surgeons will need the patient’s complete medical history. The patient will also need a physical examination prior to surgery. The patient will undergo audiologic testing and have a consultation for the type of surgery necessary.
What happens during the process?
The surgeon and his medical team will give specific instructions and will explain the surgery in detail to the patient.
Surgery will start with a cut behind the ear. The surgeon will remove the necessary amount of cartilage and skin to create a functional looking ear. The surgeons will trim cartilage to create the desired shape. After sculpting the ear, the surgeon will apply sutures to keep the ear in the desired position. After surgery, the patient will feel some discomfort for a few days. Patients may have a difficult time sleeping on their side which could disrupt sleep cycles. A small scar will remain behind the ear, but otherwise there won’t be many other blemishes.
Risk and complications:
* Little to no risks
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