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What is Ear reconstruction?

Ear reconstruction is an effective way to address issues with the outer ear, which can range in severity, from protruding or overly large ears, to ear injury or trauma. In some cases, a child may be born with no outer ear or just a small remnant. This can significantly impact their quality of life.

No matter how severe the issue may be, Dr. Mark Fisher provides ear reconstruction surgery to repair any concerns and restore a full and complete quality of life.

Dr. Mark Fisher Intro
Dr. Mark Fisher

Microtia and Ear Reconstruction

Although quite rare, missing one or both outer ears, also known as microtia, is one of the most common congenital facial deformities. This condition can cause various ear deformities ranging from small, partial ears to completely missing ears in more extreme cases.

Levels of Severity

There are four levels of severity seen with microtia, impacting the ear as follows:

  • Grade One involves an outer ear and canal that is smaller than average.
  • Grade Two causes the external ear to develop improperly.
  • Grade Three occurs when the external ear is extensively misshapen and sometimes lacks any cartilage whatsoever.
  • Grade Four describes a condition in which there is virtually no outer ear, and the ear canal may be completely unformed.
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    How Does Ear Reconstruction for Microtia Work?

    Using cartilage from the ribs, Dr. Fisher is able to create a new ear. Strong cartilage is taken from the rib cage.  An incision must be made in the chest in order to remove the cartilage from several ribs.

    The cartilage is then carved into a framework and structure that provides the normal features of the ear. The cartilage is strong and resistant to breaking and utilizes the patient’s own tissue instead of a foreign implant. The framework is then inserted under the skin where the ear should be and allowed to heal. This procedure is usually done once the child is around eight to ten years of age and the cartilage in their ribs is robust and thick enough to create a new ear. 

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      Recovering After Ear Reconstruction

      Recovery after ear reconstruction depends on the extent of surgery that was performed. Many minor reconstructive surgeries are done on an outpatient basis, but ear reconstruction for microtia usually requires at least one night in the hospital for monitoring followed by a few weeks of recovery.

      Dr. Fisher and his team will give you detailed aftercare instructions and will ensure that you know exactly what to expect from the recovery process. He will talk you through all the relevant details of your procedure, so you can rest assured and look forward to your results.

      To learn more about what Dr. Fisher and his team can do for you, reach out and set up your consultation at our Westport location today.

      Benefits of Ear Reconstruction

      For patients who have experienced bullying, embarrassment, or unhappiness about their ears, ear reconstruction can enormously improve their quality of life. Ear reconstruction benefits include:

      • Better facial proportions
      • Natural-looking, permanently corrected 
      • New confidence and self-esteem
      • Is generally considered a safe surgical procedure
      • Often requires a short recovery time
      • Can be performed on children as young as five (once the ears are fully formed)
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      Ear Reconstruction WIth Dr. Fisher

      Dr. Mark Fisher has specialized fellowship training in craniofacial plastic surgery and in pediatric plastic surgery. Dr. Fisher’s meticulous, exact technique provides natural results and restores the ears completely. He is especially qualified to help him care for children who need ear reconstruction and is dedicated to helping patients of all ages. Achieve the most ideal results with Dr. Fisher, and improve your quality of life.

      Ear reconstruction for partially or completely missing ears is a technically challenging surgery that is best done by a fellowship-trained pediatric plastic surgeon. Reconstruction requires a specialist with experience and expertise in rebuilding the ears perfectly to create a natural appearance. In order to achieve the ideal results, the ears need to look completely natural.

      Dr. Fisher has the training and experience to guide you and your child through this process and restore your child’s ear and confidence. Dr. Fisher is also experienced at treating other ear deformities and performing reconstruction of the ears after trauma. Ear reconstruction can include a number of different treatments and procedures to achieve natural, fully restored ears. If you have any questions, schedule a consultation with Dr. Fisher to learn more about your options when it comes to ear reconstruction.

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      FAQ

      How long does an ear reconstruction procedure take?

      How long is the downtime after ear reconstruction for microtia?

      How large is the incision made to remove the cartilage?

      Can ear reconstruction be done to correct prominent ears that stick out from the sides of the head?

      How long does an ear reconstruction procedure take?

      Ear reconstruction can take anywhere from 1-2 hours to correct minor differences, to 5-6 hours for microtia reconstruction.

      How long is the downtime after ear reconstruction for microtia?

      Patients who require microtia reconstruction using rib cartilage usually spend one night in the hospital. Most patients can return to school in about 1 to 2 weeks after ear reconstruction.

      How large is the incision made to remove the cartilage?

      The incision is about 2 to 3 inches long. In girls, this incision is often hidden in the future breast fold.

      Can ear reconstruction be done to correct prominent ears that stick out from the sides of the head?

      Ear reconstruction is not generally necessary for this concern. A simpler procedure, called Ear Pinning, corrects the concern and allows the ears to lie flatter against the head at a more flattering angle.

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