Many people think that microtia is a disease, but this isn’t the case. Microtia isn’t a disease, nor is it a virus. It isn’t something that you can transmit to another individual. It’s a congenital deformity that affects the outer ear, where it doesn’t fully develop. This usually takes place during the mother’s first trimester of pregnancy. The good news is, there are several options for you to deal with microtia – one of which is microtia surgery NYC.
Treating microtia with microtia surgery NYC
There are two microtia surgery NYC options for kids to reconstruct their ears: rib graft surgical technique and Medpor surgical technique.
Rib graft surgical technique
Also called the gold standard for ear reconstructive surgery, this technique takes three to four stages. This involves the use of a piece or a section of rib cartilage and the section of your child’s skin to cover the ear.
- Stage 1 – The first stage involves taking a piece of rib cartilage and then sculpting it until it’s shaped like an ear. The doctor will then sew it into a skin flap beneath the skull’s scalp where the ear is located.
- Stage 2 – This stage involves the creation of the earlobe.
- Stage 3 – The third stage is where the doctor will make a slit behind your child’s ear to release the ear from beneath the scalp skin. Using a skin graft, the doctor will use it to cover up the rest of the ear. This stage of the surgery helps create a pseudo ear canal that has a shadowing effect. This provides a depth perception look as if there exists an ear canal.
- Additional stages – Any additional stages are only required if it’s necessary to tweak the ear – to change the ear shape or the earlobe.
Since a rib graft ear comes from living tissues from the body, the ear will grow with your child and will be undersized, compared to the existing non-microtic, biological ear. The purpose of this is to ensure that it will grow to approximately the same size as the existing ear.
The reconstructed rib graft ear will appear to be physically similar in thickness. However, it will be slightly stiffer compared to the biological ear. That’s because the rib cartilage tissue is stronger or thicker than ear cartilage.
Your child can undergo rib graft microtia surgery NYC at the age of at least 5 years old. Most children may undergo surgery at the ages of 6 to 10 years.
Medpor surgical technique
Medpor surgical technique is a technique that can help eliminate the additional stages needed to harvest rib cartilage during the rib graft procedures. Medpor surgery uses a synthetic, pre-made framework, and the doctor can carve this to match the shape of the existing non-microtic ear. This can also work even if your child has bilateral microtia. The Medpor surgical technique involves the use of porous polyethylene material. This material is also used in facial craniomaxillofacial surgeries.
Unlike the rib graft surgical technique, the Medpor surgical technique only takes one stage. It may take 8 to 12 hours to complete the surgery, although it still depends on how complex the surgery is. In some cases, the surgery may require a second stage, but it’s only for tweaking the earlobe.
In this surgery, the ear is constructed to be a little larger in size, around 0.55 mm, than the existing non-microtic ear. Doing this allows the biological ear to grow to the same size as the newly-constructed Medpor ear.
A Medpor ear appears to be similar in thickness to the human eye. However, it will be a little stiffer than a rib graft ear. That’s because the material used for the synthetic framework is stronger or thicker than ear cartilage. A Medpor ear becomes vascularized, which means that the blood vessels integrate throughout the porous holes, within the polypropylene frame. Because of this, the ear will feel pain and experienced bleeding. After that, it will eventually heal.
Your child can undergo Medpor microtia surgery NYC at the age of at least 3 years old.
Are there other options aside from microtia surgery NYC?
As a parent, it’s only understandable if you hesitate to have your child undergo surgery. There are other options that you can go for if you don’t want your child to undergo any of the two surgeries mentioned above.
If you’re not comfortable with your child undergoing microtia surgery, you can buy prosthetic ears for your child instead. This is undeniably an excellent option that you should consider. Prosthetic ears look beautiful, and they look just like real ears. Your child can easily wear them using adhesives or glues, or by anchoring them with magnets.
Prosthetic ears are very durable – your child can swim and sleep even when wearing them. This can degrade the quality, but as long as you follow the suggested cleaning directions, it shouldn’t be a problem for your child to wear them.
The do-nothing option
You can choose to accept that your child has microtia ears, and do nothing about it. You can keep their little ear and accept it just the way it is. After all, it’s a natural part of their body.
Some people with microtia have learned to adore their little ears, and even show them off to other people. Some even think that the little ears add something to their character. For this reason, they prefer to not make any changes to their ears anymore. They have learned to love them and keep them as they are.
You don’t have to do anything to your child’s ear unless they decide they want to undergo surgery. If they have adjusted and they’re okay with it, then it’s not wrong to keep their ear that way. Never let other people push you into making a decision that you or your child may not agree with. Microtia is just a deformity – those little ears can be beautiful, just like the individuals who are wearing them.