What Are the Long-Term Effects of Untreated Microtia? By Dr. John Reinisch on February 27, 2024

Mother reading with young boy after his microtia treatment

When a child has microtia, their outer ear fails to develop properly. They might also have congenital defects in the inner ear and compromised hearing. Left untreated, microtia can have serious effects, not only on the child but the entire family. Throughout my decades-long career, I’ve treated thousands of cases and I’m happy to tell you the condition is treatable. Before we look at the treatment options and benefits, let’s explore the effects that patients who visit my Beverly Hills, CA, practice can hope to overcome.

Physical Effects of Microtia

The most obvious effect of microtia is its physical appearance. Without intervention, the ear will never develop normally. There are limited options to try and hide this effect, such as wearing your hair long, but the conversation quickly progresses to the emotional and psychological impact microtia can have on patients.

Emotional Effects of Microtia

A 2021 article published in the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology reported microtia sufferers experienced higher rates of social anxiety and loneliness. It breaks my heart to hear story after story of children as well as adult patients in similar shoes.

Without treatment, poor self-esteem alone can have a cascade of negative mental and emotional implications. The smiles I see on my patients’ faces when their bandages come off for the first time are absolutely priceless. I know that I’m not only providing them with an improved appearance, but also greater self-esteem and the feelings of connection that come with it.

Aural Atresia and Hearing Loss

Not all of my patients with microtia experience hearing loss, but this is another factor that has a serious impact on your quality of life if it’s left untreated. In cases of aural atresia, an ear canal did not form at all. When a child has imperfect hearing, they will likely experience speech delays. Related problems include lower academic performance and delayed developmental milestones.

When I mention microtia affects an entire family, not just a child, this is an area that I’m particularly passionate about. If you’ve had trouble communicating with your child because of their hearing, microtia treatment can be utterly life-changing.

Get Started on a Treatment Plan

Microtia surgery is designed to treat all of these concerns – physical appearance, the ability to hear clearly, and the psychological effects. From the moment you reach out to us, we’ll focus on educating you and your family about the condition – beginning by assuring you that you did nothing to contribute to your child’s condition. Once you know more about the treatment options available to you, we can move forward and make an informed decision together.

Why Choose Our Team?

I’ve trained at some of the world’s most reputable institutions, including Harvard. I developed the MEDPOR® ear reconstruction technique, which is widely recognized as the best treatment option available for many people with microtia.

I work alongside an incredible team of specialists in the Beverly Hills and Greater Los Angeles area, including a top otologist, to address our patients’ unique concerns.

Schedule a Microtia Consultation Today

Microtia can produce feelings of hopelessness but I’m here to tell you there is hope. My life’s passion is helping people affected by this condition and I’d love to meet with you. My team is fluent in Spanish, Mandarin, Italian, Russian, and Hungarian. Message our Beverly Hills office today to take the first steps toward a personalized treatment plan.

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Dr. John Reinisch, MD

Reinisch Plastic Surgery

  • Exceptionally well-qualified
  • Graduate of Harvard Medical School
  • Board-certification in plastic surgery 
  • Created the MEDPOR® technique in 1991
  • Has successfully treated over 20,000 children 

Patients come from across the country and around the world to benefit from his expert care. To schedule your consultation, contact our office online or call us at (833) 896-3277

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