What is Microtia?
Children born with microtia have a congenitally small, malformed or absent external ear. Microtia is also associated with an absent or narrowed ear canal resulting in significantly decreased hearing. Microtia is seen on one side (unilateral) 90% of the time. Only 10% of children born with microtia have the condition on both sides. Microtia is an uncommon condition, and the frequency of microtia in newborns varies in different countries. Only one in 8,000 to 10,000 children is born with microtia in the United States every year. The incidence appears to be higher in Asia and certain Central and South American countries.
The Four Grades of Microtia
Grade 1: Small ear with mostly normal ear anatomy and often no canal or a narrow canal.
Grade 2: Characterized by some ear anatomy, including a developed tragus. The bottom 1/3 of the ear is usually normal, no ear canal or a narrow canal.
Grade 3: Most common form of microtia, characterized by small, undeveloped ear remnants and no canal.
Grade 4: Also referred to as anotia, no ear remnants or canal present.
The cause of microtia is unknown. Because of the low incidence of microtia, it is usually not discovered on a prenatal ultrasound, and there is a family history of microtia in only a small percentage of families. It is important for parents to understand that there is nothing that you could have done differently during pregnancy to change your child’s condition. The good news is that, through medical technology, microtia can be successfully repaired, allowing you and your child to move forward and enjoy an excellent quality of life.
Medpor Ear Reconstruction
Continue to Conditions Associated with Microtia