A congenital abnormality in which the external part of a child’s ear is underdeveloped and malformed is called microtia. Although it can affect one or both the ears, in most of the cases, microtia occurs unilaterally. While some families choose to go for a microtia ear surgery others avoid going for a surgical procedure. But, what parents need to know here is that if your child is an infant, reconstructive surgery of the ear can’t be performed anyhow. And, they are supposed to wait until he/she turns a little older. This is done because surgeries for microtia are easier for older children because there’s more cartilage available for grafting. Meanwhile, it is advisable for your little one born with microtia to use nonsurgical hearing devices till the time he/she becomes eligible for the surgery.
Let’s look at one of the best ear reconstruction surgeries in India: Rib Cartilage Surgery
Rib Cartilage Surgery can be relied upon to give you a strong and durable ear and is considered as one of the best options for ear reconstruction in India. The highlight of this surgery is that the tissue that comes from your child’s own body is less likely to get rejected as an implant material, hence, it’s the safest option. If you have decided to go for a rib cartilage surgery for your child then you must know that your child will have to undergo 2-4 procedures over several months to a year. The procedure involves removal of rib cartilage from your child’s chest which is then utilized to create the shape of an ear. Post the ear reconstruction, the ear is implanted under the skin at the desired site. Additional surgeries and skin grafts are performed to better the position or the shape of the implanted ear. It is recommended for children between 8-10 years of age.
Stages of Ear Reconstruction with Rib Cartilage
Another important aspect is the understanding of the fact that this procedure is completed in two stages, about 6-12 months apart.
In the first stage, the rib cartilage is taken from the chest and is used to create the framework for the new ear. It is uniquely created to match the patient’s second ear to construct a detailed ear structure. Then a skin pocket is created at the site of the ear where the sculpted framework is implanted and a gentle suction is applied to it for enabling the skin and the designed ear structure to come together.
It may take approximately 4-6 hours for this surgery and the patient is expected to stay in the hospital for around 5-7 days.
In the second stage, the reconstructed ear needs to stick out from the head and put into its proper position in order to make it look like a normal ear. Also, a piece of cartilage is placed behind the reconstructed ear to support the proper position of the ear. To complete the process a flap of tissue is added and a skin grafting is done over the exposed cartilage.
This stage may take around 3-4 hours and the patient is expected to stay in the hospital for 2-3 days.
90% of patients have graded ear reconstruction surgery results as good as excellent and it has a robust success rate too. We hope that the information provided in this blog helps you make the right decision for your child. If you have any other questions about this surgery, you shall get in touch with Dr. Parag Telang, an expert surgeon in cosmetic ear reconstruction in Mumbai, India.