Microtia Myths


Dr. John Reinisch addresses common myths about microtia, such as the mother's behavior during pregnancy can cause microtia. Others include children with bilateral microtia can hear normally and creating an ear canal does not lead to good hearing. All of these statements are false.

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There are a number of common myths that we hear frequently with microtia patients. The first is that you may have done something during pregnancy to have caused the microtia and that is a myth, and there is no evidence for that. The second one that we are surprised to hear is that parents of children who have bilateral microtia especially when they're young, think that they can hear normally even though they don't have an ear canal. There's a reason for that. It's because you are usually close to your child and that your voice can act like a bone conduction hearing aid, which stimulates their skull bone and causes their cochlea to vibrate. And also because children are intuitive and can tell what you might say, and eventually learn to read your lips. So it's surprising, we have a number of patients who have children and they don't realize that they're not hearing like their peers until they're in school. This is particularly true when they are the first born for the family. The third myth that is commonly heard is the Goldenhar syndrome. Most children with microtia do not have a syndrome. Goldenhar syndrome is a very specific kind of syndrome that involves issues with the eye or spine, and it is something that is overused because many children with simple microtia or perhaps a slight asymmetry of the face are often labeled as Goldenhar when they in fact don't have the very specific criteria that is associated with Goldenhar syndrome. The fourth myth that we hear frequently is that if you make an ear canal, it closes off that it doesn't restore good hearing and that's because those people or those physicians who are saying that have never seen a good ear reconstruction or ear canal reconstruction. And we have been doing this since 2005, so 16 years and we have learned to avoid stenosis, and we know which patients can get very good hearing. So we just don't see what often people report. And finally, we're told that implant reconstruction is a bad thing with lots of complications and that's not what we find. We find that if it's done properly, the implant can do very well, look good, look better than most other ways of reconstruction, and we've had now a 31-year experience using the implant.

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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