Causes of Microtia
You are not responsible for your child's microtia. Microtia is a very rare condition, and its causes are still unclear. If your child was born with microtia, you should consult with a specialist like Dr. John Reinisch.View transcript
Many parents feel guilty or responsible for their child's microtia. I want to tell you that the cause of microtia is unclear. It is not something that you did during the pregnancy. Microtia rarely runs in families. We do know that microtia is more common in some areas of the world. This suggests that there may be a genetic component to microtia. Microtia is more common in Asia. And interestingly, it is more common on the West Coast of the United States or North America, and more common in Central America and the West Coast of South America. This suggests some genetic component. But even in identical twins that share the same genetic makeup, it is rare for both children to have microtia. In our practice, we have 30 children with microtia that are identical twins. And only 3 of the 30 have microtia in both sets of twins. Many parents ask us about the risk of having another child with microtia and I can tell you that it is extremely, extremely rare to have another child with microtia after having a first child with microtia. We have 4,000 families in our database. Of those, only 15 families have microtia in either a parent and child or in 2 sets of children. If your newborn has microtia, it is easy to be overwhelmed and unsure where to start your journey. Local doctors, such as your pediatrician, may be unfamiliar with the condition because it isn't very common. Do not panic. It's helpful to have an early consultation, even as a newborn, with a microtia specialists. Tests, such as X-ray, CT scans, are usually not necessary until age of two years because there is nothing to be learned from most of those tests that can be ascertained from simply looking at the child. Early hearing intervention can be helpful especially in bilateral cases of microtia. We are happy to see your child and offer a complimentary online consultation at any age to help you begin your reconstructive journey.