November 9th Is National Microtia Awareness Day
November 9th is National Microtia Awareness Day. Microtia is a congenital birth defect in which one ear or both do not fully develop. This occurs during the first trimester of pregnancy. Microtia ears vary in appearance but are usually smaller in size. This defect is more common in males and in 90 percent of cases, affects only the right ear.
Dr. John Reinisch of Reinisch Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills, CA, is a world-renowned microtia expert, and creator of the MEDPOR® ear reconstruction technique. As one of the foremost microtia surgeons working today, it is his mission to provide friendly and assuring care to all his patients who suffer from the condition.
November 9th: A Day of Awareness
According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 out of every 2,000-10,000 live births are afflicted with microtia or anotia (complete lack of an external ear). National Microtia Awareness Day is a day that is devoted to raising awareness about the condition in the United States and other countries around the world.
The Origins of National Microtia Awareness Day
Ally Tumblin was born in 2009 with microtia of her right ear. Soon after, her parents, Brent and Melissa Tumblin, founded the Ear Community Organization. Within years, the family had established National Microtia Awareness Day.
A Reach That Is Far and Wide
Over 15,000 people from countries all over the world have come together to participate in the organization’s events since its inception. Through the Ear Community Organization’s efforts, more than 120 bone conduction hearing devices have been donated, and 17 college scholarships have been awarded.
National Microtia Awareness Day is used as a time for those interested in learning about the condition to discover organizations, resources, and support groups. Along with speech therapists and teachers of hearing-impaired students, families raise awareness of the condition and promote positive messages surrounding the condition and hearing loss.
Helping Hands in a Growing Community
Pediatricians, plastic surgeons, and other medical professionals host clinics for families. Medical device companies help to educate and raise awareness by hosting courses, posting articles online, and making posts on social media.
Teachers, medical professionals, advocates, and families affected by the condition come together in a spirit of cooperation. This close-knit community works to provide assistance to individuals with the condition.
Treatments for Microtia
Surgeons who treat microtia usually fall into two distinct categories: those who use Rib Graft as a framework material and those who use MEDPOR. Our Beverly Hills surgical center can perform both techniques.
Rib Cartilage Reconstruction
In the rib graft technique, cartilage from several of the patient’s ribs is removed and then reconstructed to create an ear framework, which is then buried underneath the scalp. The benefit to the rib graft technique is that it uses the body’s own tissue exclusively. A major disadvantage is that it requires several surgeries (usually between two and five procedures).
The Microporous High-Density Polyethylene implant technique was developed by Dr. Reinisch in 1991. Effective, safe, and innovative, the technique involves attaching an implant at the site of the damaged ear and then grafting skin over it. The advantage of the MEDPOR technique is that it is a single surgery that can be completed in just a few hours. A disadvantage is that it uses artificial materials, not the patient’s own tissue.
Contact Us for World-Renowned Microtia Care
Dr. Reinisch has seen and treated over 4,000 microtia patients and has trained over 200 surgeons from 25 countries in microtia surgery. As the inventor of the MEDPOR technique, he is uniquely qualified to perform your child’s surgery. Call our Beverly Hills center at (310) 461-4375 or schedule a consultation online today.