Microtia Treatment and Improved Hearing
Microtia is a congenital condition that causes the outer ear to be malformed, underdeveloped, or completely missing. Microtia has an obvious cosmetic impact, and can make individuals feel insecure about their appearance. Unfortunately, the effects of microtia can go even deeper. It is reported that around 90 percent of people with microtia experience hearing loss in the affected ear.
Plastic surgeon John Reinisch offers microtia treatment to enhance the appearance of the ear. When hearing loss is a concern, he works with an otologist to offer his Beverly Hills, CA, patients improved hearing. Microtia treatment can improve hearing by correcting abnormalities in the inner ear, or ear canal, that have resulted in hearing loss.
Why Does Microtia Result In Hearing Loss?
Microtia, or abnormalities of the outer ear, do not affect the hearing on their own. However, the majority of people who suffer from microtia also suffer from atresia. Atresia is the absence or underdevelopment of the ear canal or the middle ear structures. Microtia and atresia usually go hand in hand because the outer and middle ear develop around the same time during fetal development.
If the ear canal is missing or underdeveloped, it can result in significant hearing loss. Hearing loss has a huge effect on a child’s day-to-day activities, and can affect their speech patterns as well. If children suffer from microtia, they should have a complete audiological evaluation to determine if hearing loss is a concern.
Inner Ear Reconstruction Techniques
Microtia treatment is performed to enhance the cosmetics of the outer ear, while also addressing any inner ear abnormalities that have resulted in hearing loss. There are a few different inner ear reconstruction techniques that may be used during microtia treatment to improve hearing. Dr. Reinisch works with an otologist to perform a CT scan of the inner ear, which will help our doctors determine which technique is appropriate for each of our Beverly Hills patients.
Depending on the type of malformation that is present, patients may require middle and inner ear reconstruction. Reconstruction could involve making an opening where the ear canal should be, repositioning the inner ear bones, or using the patient’s own tissues to build an eardrum. Inner ear reconstruction can be performed before or during microtia treatment, so that both the appearance of the outer ear and the function of the inner ear are improved.
Microtia Treatment Results
Microtia treatment at our Beverly Hills practice greatly improves the appearance of the outer ear. Dr. Reinisch created the MEDPOR® ear reconstruction technique, which uses biocompatible polyethylene to create an ear framework. The framework integrates with the patient’s cells and blood vessels, and is covered with the patient’s own tissues. The result is an attractive and natural looking ear that matches the non-affected ear.
Microtia treatment can also bring hearing back to near perfect. Most patients can hear a wider range of sounds and can more easily identify which side noise is coming from. Improved hearing should positively impact the patient’s speech as well.
Dr. John Reinisch has successfully treated over 20,000 children. If you would like to learn more about microtia treatment and how it can benefit your child, we invite you to schedule an appointment at the International Institute for Microtia Repair. To get started, contact us online or call us at (310) 461-4375.