Ear Reconstruction

Ear reconstruction surgery is a procedure performed to treat microtia. Microtia is a congenital condition that results in an underdeveloped or missing ear. Ear reconstruction is typically a series of three surgeries that build upon each other to create the appearance of a normal external ear. The first surgery is creating the framework of a normal ear with a rib cartilage graft. The second surgery goes toward restoring the appearance of a normal earlobe and eliminating excess skin. The third surgery creates the sulcus behind the ear framework. Children older than six years of age are candidates for ear reconstruction.

How long will the procedure take?

The first surgery is typically the longest of the three procedures, lasting about three to four hours. The second and third surgeries are usually about two hours each. The surgeries are usually spaced three months apart from each other.

Where will the incisions be?

The incisions are placed in front and behind the ear.

What will recovery be like?

Recovery is typically one to two weeks after surgery. You will receive instructions on how to care for the reconstruction afterwards. Often a head wrap is placed to protect the surgery site and for comfort.

Initially, you should plan to avoid strenuous exercise, contact sports, swimming, heavy lifting, and housework.

What else should I know about this procedure?

Microtia typically affects hearing in the affected ear. Microtia can also occur as part of a larger, more complex condition such as hemifacial microsomia, Goldenhar Syndrome, or Treacher Collins Syndrome. Dr. Aboutanos will help coordinate your child's care with other craniofacial specialists as part of a multidisciplinary team approach.