Microtia & Hearing

The pediatric plastic surgeons at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s, together with pediatric audiologists, otolaryngologists (ENT) and others, diagnose and treat children with microtia. Microtia is a congenital condition in which a baby is born with a small and malformed external ear.

This condition can range from mild to severe, and can affect one or both ears. It can occur alone, or it can be present with other congenital conditions. In the most severe cases, the ear may be completely missing.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Microtia is typically diagnosed at birth. Babies who are confirmed to have a form of microtia will undergo an evaluation to determine the extent of the microtia and identify potential problems. For example, your child’s hearing will be tested to determine if there is any hearing loss. This can be treated through the use of hearing aids and sometimes surgery.

Once your child is older, he or she may have reconstructive surgery to rebuild the ear. Prior to surgery, the patient will undergo additional evaluation and imaging tests. Then one of our skilled pediatric plastic surgeons will rebuild the child’s ear in a phased treatment approach. The surgeon may use a number or reconstructive surgical techniques to recreate an ear that is closer in shape and size to a normal ear.

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