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Home Blog Microtia Surgery: Insights into Preparation and Anticipated Outcomes

Microtia Surgery: Insights into Preparation and Anticipated Outcomes

Microtia, a congenital difference characterized by the absence, underdevelopment, or malformation of one or both external ears, presents unique challenges for children. Recognizing these challenges, families and patients often opt for microtia surgery, a reconstructive procedure aimed at restoring both the aesthetic and functional aspects of the external ear. This article serves as an informative guide for parents contemplating this surgery for their children, as well as adults considering the procedure for themselves. Dr. Miles J. Pfaff performs microtia reconstruction for children and adults at both Children’s Hospital of Orange County

Understanding Microtia and Available Surgical Options

Microtia, translating to “small ear,” is a congenital difference where the external ear is notably small or misshapen, or missing, typically manifesting during the early stages of gestation. While it predominantly affects one ear, bilateral occurrences are possible. Often, microtia impacts only the outer ear and can also impact auditory function.

Navigating through the plethora of surgical alternatives can be daunting. At Children’s Hospital of Orange County and UCI Plastic Surgery, Dr. Pfaff and the team specialize in sophisticated ear reconstruction surgeries, tailored to correct congenital ear deficiencies.

Assessing Suitability for Microtia Surgery

The decision to proceed with microtia surgery hinges on several factors, including the child’s age and their physical and psychological well-being. Children are generally eligible for the surgery by age 7.

The Consultation Process: What to Expect

During your consultation with Dr. Pfaff, he will delineate the array of surgical options, evaluate the extent of microtia. A thorough medical review, physical examination, and analysis of ear deformities are integral components of the consultation. This session also provides an opportunity to discuss any concerns and to understand the pros and cons of various reconstructive techniques.

The Microtia Surgery Procedure

Microtia repair involves ear reconstruction, either through the use of rib cartilage or a Medpor/Supor implant. The choice of technique depends on individual case specifics and the surgeon’s assessment.

Choosing the Right Surgeon for Microtia

When selecting a surgeon for microtia surgery, it is imperative to choose a surgeon specializing in reconstructive surgery. Dr. Pfaff is a board-certified plastic and craniofacial surgeon who specializes in microtia surgery. He is the current director of the Ear Anomalies Program at Children’s Hospital of Orange County. Dr. Pfaff provides both rib cartilage (also known as “natural” reconstruction), and Medpor /SuPor-based reconstruction. Details regarding the which surgery may be best for you or your loved one will be discussed in the consultation.

For further information about microtia surgery for yourself or your child, please contact our office to arrange a consultation. Pediatric patients can be seen by Dr. Pfaff at Children’s Hospital of Orange County and adults can see Dr. Pfaff at the UCI Costa Mesa or Orange Clinics.