Microtia is a congenital deformity (birth defect) of the ear in which incomplete development leads to an abnormal appearance of the outer ear. While it is not clear what causes microtia, the condition often occurs spontaneously during the developmental process rather than as an inherited defect. Given the aesthetic nature of the condition, the treatment options for microtia are highly patient-specific.
The Ear Surgery Center of Excellence in Los Angeles boasts an expert team of plastic and reconstructive surgeons as well as otolaryngologists, specializing in the treatment of ear injury and congenital deformity. Led by renowned facial plastic surgeon Dr. Carlo Honrado, our doctors are highly skilled in the treatment of microtia and are dedicated to providing each patient with comprehensive, individualized care for their condition.
To learn more about microtia and the latest treatment options, contact the Ear Surgery Center of Excellence at (888) 281-8537.
- Approximately 1 in 6,000 babies in the U.S. are born with microtia
- 90 percent of cases only affect one ear
- Right ears are more commonly affected with microtia
- Ear deformity occurs during the first trimester of pregnancy
- Undetectable on typical ultrasound monitoring devices
- Microtia usually causes some form of hearing loss
- Can be associated with other congenital facial conditions, including Hemifacial Microsomia and Goldenhar Syndrome
Microtia is classified using a four-grade system, based on the extent of ear malformation and ear canal damage:
- Grade 1 Microtia – The affected ear is smaller than normal, but retains similar physical characteristics including an external ear canal
- Grade 2 Microtia – The affected ear is smaller and only partially formed, with narrowing of the ear canal that can impact hearing
- Grade 3 Microtia – Ear consists of a vertical appendage of skin and cartilage lacking an external ear canal
- Grade 4 Microtia (Anotia) – Severe form of microtia describing complete absence of the external ear, though the internal ear canal may remain in tact
Why Is Microtia a Problem?
In many cases, microtia is purely a cosmetic concern. However, a small or irregular ear can have a negative psychological and social impact during early childhood. Microtia may cause an individual to become uncomfortable in public without having their ears concealed. When a child with microtia enters early school-age years, it is not uncommon to experience bullying, embarrassment, or low self esteem.
Another problem that is associated with more serious forms of microtia is aural atresia. Atresia describes an absence or closure of the external ear canal, resulting in partial or even severe hearing loss.
Fortunately, both the adverse physical and emotional aspects of microtia are treatable. Through early education and support, children, parents, and families affected by microtia can become more comfortable and gain a greater understanding of the condition. As a child born with microtia becomes older, several reconstructive surgical options are available that can provide a more natural-looking ear and restored confidence in one’s appearance.
Contact a Microtia Specialist in Los Angeles
At the Ear Surgery Center of Excellence, our goal is to provide the highest quality of patient-centered care in a safe and controlled environment. Our ear surgeons have trained at some of the most prestigious medical institutions in the country and utilize advanced surgical techniques to provide the absolute best results. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation by calling (888) 281-8537 or filling out our contact form.
Next, learn about the testing involved with microtia diagnosis.