Deformities of the ear occur for a variety of reasons. Underdeveloped or deformed areas are often seen in individuals with hemifacial microsomia, microtia, and Treacher-Collins syndrome. Deformities of the ear can be corrected with ear reconstruction surgery. This is a somewhat complex procedure which also requires a certain degree of artistry on the surgeon’s part, making it essential that individuals select a qualified surgeon.
Dr. Robert Mounsey of Revesse in Toronto is a facial plastic surgery specialist with extensive experience in ear reconstruction surgery. He achieves remarkably natural-looking ear reconstruction results. For individuals with large or protruding ears, Dr. Mounsey also performs otoplasty to reduce the size of the ears or set them back closer to the head.
Microtia, which literally means “little ear”, is a birth defect characterized by the presence of a small ear. In many cases, the ear appears deformed as well. Microtia occurs when the outer ear and middle do not fully develop. Hemifacial microsomia is a facial birth defect in which the lower half of one side of the face is underdeveloped. The condition may include some abnormality of the mouth and jaw area but always includes the maldevelopment of the ear. Treacher-Collins syndrome is a hereditary condition typically present at birth which leads to defects of the face, including in many cases an abnormal or nearly absent outer part of the ear. In all of these conditions, the ear can be reconstructed to recreate a more normal, natural appearance.
The Ear Reconstruction Procedure
Ear reconstruction surgery is often performed on children. By improving the appearance of the ears early on, children may be spared teasing that may occur once they enter school. In this way, ear reconstruction can dramatically improve a child’s self confidence. Surgery may be performed once the ears are nearly fully grown which tends to occur between the ages of four and six. Ear reconstruction may be performed on adults as well.
Dr. Mounsey may perform the ear reconstruction surgery in one of the hospitals or private clinics in the Toronto area which he is affiliated with. The surgery may take up to five hours to complete and is often performed with general anesthesia. In order to reconstruct the ear, cartilage must first be harvested from elsewhere on the body. In many cases, cartilage is taken from the ribs. This cartilage is then carved, reshaped and molded to look like an ear and then placed under the skin where the ear should be. When made from the patient’s own rib cartilage, the reconstructed ear will continue to grow with the patient. Ears may also be reconstructed from plastic, however using the patient’s own tissue is usually preferred.
Additional procedures are sometimes needed to further improve the appearance of the ear, and these may be performed several months apart. For instance, once the ear has been created and set in place, a second procedure may be performed several months later, after the new ear is completely healed, to elevate the ear from the side of the head for more natural positioning.
The Ear Reconstruction Recovery
Some discomfort in the ear may occur. Patients may also experience some discomfort in the chest if cartilage was taken from the rib. This can be alleviated with medication. Swelling or redness may also occur. A bandage may be applied to the ear and head and this is often removed within a few days. The total recovery may take anywhere from two to three weeks.
Revesse offers financing to help pay for your surgery. To learn more about financing and check eligibility, apply online.
Related Procedures: Scar Revision, Flap Reconstruction, Complex Nasal Reconstruction, Fat Transfer