Microtia Surgery – Ear Reconstruction Surgery
What Is Microtia Surgery?
Microtia surgery, also known as Ear Reconstruction Surgery, is a procedure designed to reconstruct an underdeveloped or absent external ear due to a birth defect known as microtia. The severity of microtia can vary. Some patients may have one small ear positioned lower than the other ear, and some may not have an ear lobe at all.
The surgical intervention aims to restore a natural-looking ear, improving the aesthetic appearance of the overall face. The surgery involves using cartilage grafts, either from the patient’s body or made of synthetic materials, to create a new ear structure.
Why is Microtia Surgery Done?
Microtia surgery is performed to address the following reasons:
- To correct the congenital condition of microtia, where the external ear is underdeveloped or missing.
- To enhance the overall facial symmetry and restore a more balanced appearance.
What Microtia Surgery Can / Can’t Do
- Reconstruct a new external ear using cartilage grafts.
- Improve the aesthetic appearance of the ear.
- Enhance facial symmetry.
- Restore hearing or normal ear function without additional surgical interventions.
- Completely replicate a natural ear in terms of texture and sensation.
How Should You Prepare For Microtia Surgery?
- Consult a board-certified plastic surgeon specialising in microtia surgery.
- Undergo a thorough examination and discussion of the surgical plan.
- Follow any pre-operative instructions provided by the surgeon.
- Make sure to disclose any medications, allergies, or medical conditions to the surgeon.
- Arrange for transportation to and from the surgical facility on the day of the procedure.
What is the Procedure of Microtia Surgery?
Microtia surgery is a complex procedure that requires general anaesthesia to ensure the patient’s comfort and safety throughout the operation. The surgery is often performed in multiple stages, especially in cases of severe microtia or when additional reconstructive work is needed.
During the surgery, the surgeon will make careful incisions to access the area where the new ear structure will be created. The choice of surgical technique may vary based on the patient’s specific condition and the surgeon’s expertise.
In many cases, cartilage grafts are harvested from the patient’s own ribcage. Dr Rajat Gupta prefers the rib cartilage technique due to its strength, flexibility, and compatibility with the body. Alternatively, synthetic materials may be used as grafts, depending on the patient’s unique circumstances.
The harvested cartilage or synthetic grafts are then meticulously sculpted and shaped to resemble a natural ear structure. The surgeon takes great care to create an ear that is symmetrical and proportionate to the patient’s face.
After the cartilage grafts are positioned, the incisions are carefully closed using sutures, and dressings or bandages are applied to protect the surgical site and aid in the healing process.
It’s important to note that the final results of microtia surgery are not immediately visible. Over time, as the body heals and adjusts to the new ear structure, the shape, appearance, and position of the reconstructed ear will gradually become more refined and natural-looking.
Recovery After Microtia Surgery?
- Microtia surgery usually requires an overnight hospital stay.
- Following the surgery, there may be swelling, bruising, and discomfort, which will gradually subside.
- Pain medication and antibiotics may be prescribed to manage pain and prevent infection.
- Refrain from strenuous activities, such as heavy lifting or rigorous exercise, as advised by the surgeon.
- Follow the surgeon’s instructions regarding dressing changes, hygiene, and ear protection.
- Frequent follow-up appointments will be scheduled to monitor healing progress and make any necessary adjustments.
Risks involved in Microtia Surgery?
As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications associated with microtia surgery. These may include anaesthesia risks, infection, bleeding, asymmetry, scarring, graft complications, and changes in sensation. However, when performed by a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon, these risks can be minimised, and the chances of a successful outcome are significantly increased.
Remember, consulting with a qualified plastic surgeon is essential to determine your eligibility for microtia surgery and to discuss the potential benefits and risks based on your unique circumstances.