While many are familiar with Paul Stanley as the lead singer for KISS — one of the most successful rock bands in American history — few are aware of the true obstacles to his legendary career. Stanley was born with Grade 3 Microtia, a congenital malformation in which the external ear and middle ear canal fail to develop. The resulting closure of his ear canal, also known as aural atresia, also significantly impaired his hearing.
During a 2011 interview with CNN, Stanley revealed the psychological struggle that accompanied his hearing impairment and ear deformity early on in his career. In order to cope with his condition and pursue his passion for music, Stanley underwent several hearing correction treatments and even grew out his signature hairstyle to prevent others from noticing his ear. However, his overarching message was clear: With support, determination, and compassionate medical care, microtia and atresia can be overcome.
At the Ear Surgery Center of Excellence, we understand that the physical, social, and emotional impact of microtia and other ear deformities may vary from person to person. Led by microtia expert Dr. Carlo Honrado, the Center has an entire team of otolaryngologists and facial plastic surgeons who are highly skilled in the most advanced procedures available for the treatment of microtia. Our team’s commitment to highly individualized care translates to optimal patient satisfaction and surgical outcomes.
To schedule an initial consultation with a Los Angeles ear surgeon, you may contact us at (888) 281-8537 or by filling out our online contact form.
How Can Hearing Loss Be Corrected?
Hearing loss is a possible complication associated with microtia that is typically addressed during early childhood. Left untreated, it may lead to speech and communication delays as well as improper social development.
Thanks to advances in auditory processing equipment and surgical technique, individuals with microtia now have a number of options when it comes to hearing restoration. One of the more common options, currently utilized by Paul Stanley, is the implantation of a hearing aid on the side of the head. A bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA) is placed during a simple outpatient procedure and can dramatically improve the ability to detect and process sound within the affected ear.
In addition to receiving a BAHA, Stanley underwent surgery to open and reconstruct his ear canal and improve hearing. The procedure, known as atresiaplasty, is an option for patients with more severe hearing loss and proper inner ear conditions. When detected early and treated appropriately, hearing can often be restored to normal or near normal levels.
Reconstructive Treatments for Microtia
The primary concern of both children and adults with microtia is typically the aesthetic appearance of their ear. Reconstructive ear surgery can be used to reshape a microtic ear, restore balance to the face, and reduce the psychosocial implications of an ear deformity. At the Ear Surgery Center of Excellence, our facial plastic surgeons have expertise in the following reconstructive methods:
- Autologous reconstruction (Rib cartilage technique)
- Synthetic reconstruction (MEDPOR technique)
- Ear Prosthetic
Reconstructive ear surgery is typically performed during childhood, as early as five years of age. At this age, children are aware of their deformity and often begin to feel embarrassment or experience bullying or teasing from other children. By achieving a more natural-looking appearance, reconstructive ear surgery can restore a child’s self-confidence and help to prevent negative social and emotional impact of a microtic ear.
Contact the Ear Surgery Center of Excellence
At the Ear Surgery Center of Excellence, our goal is to provide the highest quality of patient-specific care. Our expert otolaryngologists and facial plastic surgeons have trained at some of the most prestigious medical institutions in the country and utilize advanced surgical techniques to provide the most natural looking results.
For additional information or to schedule your initial consultation with one of our facial plastic surgeons, don’t hesitate to call (888) 281-8537.