Microtia can have a significant physical and psychological impact on your child. A missing or malformed outer ear can affect their appearance and self-confidence, and a narrowed or nonexistent ear canal can have more far-reaching effects on their hearing, speech patterns, and language processing skills. Fortunately, Dr. John Reinisch performs microtia surgery at our Beverly Hills practice - the MEDPOR® ear reconstruction technique, which he pioneered in 1991, which uses a microporous high-density polyethylene implant. To learn more about these procedures and find out which one might be right for your child, schedule a consultation with Dr. Reinisch.
Microtia is a rare congenital condition that affects approximately one in every 8,000-10,000 babies born in the U.S. Microtia rates are slightly higher in other parts of the world, and thanks to his reputation for excellence and comprehensive treatment, Dr. Reinisch works with patients from around the globe. Microtia surgery is designed to address both external ear deformity and inner ear canal deficiency. By using a patient’s own tissue, Dr. Reinisch can create a new ear structure. He also works with a top otologist, who can surgically create or correct the ear canal to improve hearing.
Rib cartilage ear reconstruction was the first surgery to successfully treat microtia. The procedure typically requires two to four surgeries, and Dr. Reinisch usually performs it when patients are between the ages of 10 and 16. First, he will create an incision in the child’s chest and remove cartilage from several of the ribs. He will then use this cartilage to fabricate a new ear, carefully carving and suturing it so that it matches the shape of their healthy ear. Once the new framework is complete, he will create a pocket of skin and place the new ear in this pocket.
Although rib cartilage reconstruction is an established and effective treatment option, Dr. Reinisch recognizes the limitations of this procedure. In 1991, he developed his patented MEDPOR® technique, which has become the accepted standard for surgical microtia treatment. Using this technique, he creates a new ear framework using biocompatible polyethylene. After placing this framework on the patient’s head, he grafts the patient’s own tissue so that the new structure actually integrates with the surrounding skin and blood vessels. MEDPOR® offers a highly lifelike appearance with minimal scarring. It also requires fewer surgeries, and Dr. Reinisch can perform MEDPOR® on patients as young as three years old, meaning they can have enhanced hearing at a younger age, leading to more advanced speech and language recognition.
If you choose MEDPOR® surgery, you and your child will benefit from Dr. Reinisch’s considerable skill, personal commitment to his patients, and partnerships with top medical professionals. Dr. Reinisch works with a pediatric anesthesiologist and an otologist to protect your child’s safety and ensure optimal surgical results. He will conduct comprehensive follow-ups to assess whether your child is healing properly and enjoying better hearing. Because many of his patients travel thousands of miles to benefit from his expertise, he provides two complimentary nights of lodging at the nearby Four Seasons Hotel. Like many families who choose to stay longer, you may decide to stay at the Ronald McDonald House, which Dr. Reinisch is proud to partner with.