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Microtia and aural atresia is a rare congenital deformity in which a child is born without normal ear cartilage and without an ear canal. Reconstruction usually is deferred until about 8 years old, when the rib cartilage is well developed and the head is approaching adult size. The cosmetic reconstruction must be performed before the restoration of the ear canal. Many of these patients have serviceable hearing after repair.
The images below are from a microtia repair we did on a recent mission to Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
The child was born without ears on either side. A team from Global Health Outreach reconstructed her right ear with rib cartilage making it easier for her to camouflage the deformity with her hair.
On our mission, we harvested rib cartilage from the girl’s right side and used it to sculpt and suture a left ear. We used the girl’s mother’s ear as a template to judge size and shape.
The next team will lift the ears away from the scalp and rotate the earlobe into position. Hearing restoration will be the final step.
Other types of plastic surgery to the ears:
Otoplasty is the cosmetic correction, or “pinning back,” of ears that stick out too far.
Skin cancer is the most common cause of damage to the ears, but modern reconstructive techniques can often restore a nearly normal shape and function.
Torn earlobes and keloid scars are common complications of ear piercing. Most cases can be corrected in the office under local anesthesia.
Cauliflower ears are deformities that result from mechanical injuries to the ear, most commonly during the sport of wrestling.