MEDPOR Ear Reconstruction: How Does it Work? What Are the Benefits? By Dr. John Reinisch on May 13, 2024

young child eating lunchMicrotia is a condition that affects the formation of the outer ear, causing it to appear small or misshapen. Microtia may also affect the inner ear, resulting in hearing loss and speech impediment. Microtia affects approximately one out of every 5,000 babies born in the United States annually.

Dr. John Reinisch specializes in microtia treatment at his Beverly HillsCA, plastic surgery center. He created the MEDPOR® ear reconstruction technique, which uses a polyethylene implant to reconstruct the outer ear. Dr. Reinisch provides microtia patients with an overview of MEDPOR ear reconstruction, including how it works and the benefits that make it the procedure of choice for many patients.

What Is the MEDPOR Technique?

The MEDPOR technique is a microtia treatment created and taught by Dr. Reinisch. The procedure uses an artificial implant to restructure the outer ear and enhance aesthetics and symmetry. The MEDPOR technique is an alternative to traditional microtia treatment, which uses a patient’s rib cartilage for implant construction.

MEDPOR (microporous high-density polyethylene implant) is a biocompatible structure that resembles the ear framework. Each implant is customized to match the shape and projection of the patient’s opposite natural ear, to ensure symmetry. During a MEDPOR procedure, Dr. Reinisch places the implant and covers it with skin grafts. Skin grafts are typically collected from the back of the patient’s scalp, so there is little to no visible scarring.

After surgery, Dr. Reinisch covers the ear with a protective silicone cover. The cover protects the ear while tissues heal and promotes proper contouring. 

MEDPOR vs. Rib Cartilage Ear Reconstruction

MEDPOR differs from rib cartilage ear reconstruction because it uses a polyethylene implant rather than an implant constructed with the patient’s rib cartilage. Rib cartilage ear reconstruction requires a minimum of two surgical procedures - one to collect the donor tissues and another to place the implant framework.

Benefits of the MEDPOR Technique

The MEDPOR technique is preferred by many patients and surgeons over rib cartilage reconstruction because it offers numerous benefits. Some of the most notable advantages of the MEDPOR technique include its suitability for children, number of surgical procedures, and minimal patient discomfort.

Suitability for Children

Rib cartilage ear reconstruction must be postponed until a patient has sufficient rib cartilage to construct the ear framework. Most children are not candidates for rib cartilage ear reconstruction until they are nine or 10 years old, after starting school. The MEDPOR technique is suitable for children as young as three or four, so most children can undergo treatment before starting school.

Number of Surgical Procedures

Patients must undergo at least two surgical procedures during rib cartilage ear reconstruction. One surgery is necessary to collect donor cartilage and the other to place the ear framework. In some cases, rib cartilage ear reconstruction patients also require additional surgeries to make adjustments, such as elevating the ear or repositioning the earlobe. In contrast, MEDPOR treatment requires just one surgery.

Minimal Patient Discomfort

Patient discomfort is minimal when undergoing MEDPOR ear reconstruction because the technique requires only a single surgery. Patients are under general anesthesia during treatment and most recover with little pain. Rib cartilage ear reconstruction is also performed using general anesthesia. However, the patient undergoes at least two surgical procedures with rib cartilage ear reconstruction and often experiences discomfort at the donor site.

Contact Our Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery Center

The MEDPOR technique safely and effectively treats microtia while offering many other benefits. Individuals considering MEDPOR vs. rib cartilage ear reconstruction for microtia can schedule a consultation with Dr. John Reinisch to discuss treatment options. Contact our Beverly Hills plastic surgery center online at your earliest convenience to learn more.

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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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Reinisch Plastic Surgery

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