While multi-stage ear reconstruction is a safe and effective treatment for microtia, patients also have other options. For individuals who wish to minimize their surgery or even avoid surgery altogether, a realistic prosthetic ear can be a gratifying alternative.
The Ear Surgery Center of Excellence in Los Angeles boasts an expert team of plastic reconstructive surgeons and otolaryngologists specializing in the treatment of microtia, led by renowned facial plastic surgeon Dr. Carlo Honrado. Our doctors are highly skilled in the most advanced reconstructive techniques and are committed to providing each patient with comprehensive, individualized care for their condition.
To learn more about treatment options for microtia or to schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons, you may contact us at (888) 281-8537.
Advantages and Disadvantages of an Ear Prosthetic
The primary goal of treatment for microtia is to restore the aesthetics of the ear and achieve a more balanced, natural-looking appearance. Many patients have found that an ear prosthetic satisfies this goal while avoiding reconstructive surgery. Before pursuing this alternative, our doctors want patients to have an understanding of the pros and cons of an ear prosthesis.
One of the main benefits of an ear prosthetic is that it avoids multi-stage reconstructive surgery and chest surgery (for the autologous technique), which some patients may be ineligible for. Additionally, current prosthetics appear very realistic and can be used as a short-term solution while you are deciding whether or not to undergo reconstructive surgery.
A possible disadvantage of an ear prosthetic to keep in mind is that the ear is not a physical part of your body. This means that a prosthetic ear will never perspire during exercise, nor will it match your skin tone when you tan or sunburn. A prosthetic ear also requires daily maintenance, is removed nightly, and may only last for several years before requiring a replacement. Finally, many patients still must undergo surgery to fix the prosthetic ear to their head.
Methods of Prosthetic Ear Placement
Once a patient has considered the benefits and limitations of a prosthetic ear and has chosen to proceed, the method of fixation must be determined. Two attachment methods are currently used to fix a prosthetic ear to the head: adhesive and magnetic
The adhesive technique is often preferred for young children receiving a prosthetic ear, but it is typically not recommended for individuals who are active or sweat often because this may disrupt the bond and positioning of the prosthesis. The magnetic fixation of an ear prosthetic requires surgery in which small screws are drilled into the side of the head to hold a magnetic bar in place. After this hardware has integrated into the surrounding bone and tissue, which may take up to three months, the prosthesis can be fabricated and “fixed” to the head externally.
In most cases, reconstructive ear surgery can still be performed if a patient is not satisfied with their prosthetic ear. At the Ear Surgery Center of Excellence, our surgeons work closely with each patient to develop a treatment plan most suitable to their condition.
Contact a Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
At the Ear Surgery Center of Excellence, our goal is to provide the highest quality of care in a safe, state-of-the-art environment. Our 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. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation by calling (888) 281-8537 or filling out our website contact form.
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