If you or your child suffers from microtia, but are not a good candidate for MEDPOR® or rib cartilage reconstruction, you may benefit from a silicone prosthetic ear. Although Beverly Hills surgeon Dr. John Reinisch does not offer prostheses at our practice, he is committed to informing his patients about all of their treatment options, and can refer you to a skilled anaplastologist - a specialist who is trained to create facial prosthetics. Silicone prosthetic ears are customized to match your healthy ear, and while they cannot improve hearing, they offer excellent cosmetic enhancement, especially for adults. To learn more about these restorations or to obtain a referral for a trusted anaplastologist, contact our practice today.
If you choose to enhance your appearance with a silicone ear, an experienced anaplastologist will carefully fabricate a prosthesis, using a mold of your unaffected ear. This customized precision means that your new ear will match the shape, skin color, and size of your healthy ear.
There are two types of prosthetic ears. The first adheres to the skin using safe, biocompatible glue, and the second type is called an osseointegrated prosthesis. If you choose to receive an osseointegrated prosthetic ear, your surgeon will place several titanium implant posts into the bone around the ear. The silicone ear will then snap securely onto these implants. Both types of prostheses are removable. You should take off your prosthetic ear before you sleep or participate in athletic activities, and you should also remove it once a day to thoroughly clean the ear and underlying tissue. Typically, these prostheses last between one and three years, depending on maintenance, environment, activity level, and other factors.
Silicone ears are highly realistic, and they offer an excellent non-surgical option for the treatment of microtia or traumatic deformity. Silicone prosthetic ears are especially advantageous for adults who do not qualify for MEDPOR® or rib cartilage reconstruction.
Although silicone ears are customized to look realistic, unlike MEDPOR® or rib cartilage reconstruction, they do not use your own cartilage or skin, so they will not look as lifelike as these biological restorations. It can also be difficult to conceal the “seam” where the ear meets the skin. Because of this, and since they must be removed at night and before playing sports, patients with prosthetic ears may not always be wholly satisfied with their appearance. Additionally, although surgical treatment for microtia is more costly, it is a singular treatment cost, whereas prosthetic ears must be replaced periodically. Finally, prosthetic ears are typically not a good treatment option for children, since they often get knocked off during play.
If you or your child suffers from microtia, contact Dr. Reinisch to learn more about your treatment options. He can explain the various surgical treatments, and he will be happy to refer you to an anaplastologist to learn more about whether a silicone prosthetic ear is right for you.