Ear Reconstruction for Microtia

Ear Reconstruction in Salt Lake City, Utah Area

(For more details and photographs please click here for RockyMountainEars.com)

Ear Reconstruction in Utah is performed for several reasons:

(Please click on each subject for more detail and photographs)

Microtia born with a small, deformed ear or born without an ear

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary. Images do not constitute a promise or representation of any particular outcome or experience.

Injury – partial or total loss of an ear due to trauma

Cancer – partial or total loss of an ear due to cancer

Common Techniques for External Ear Reconstruction in Utah

Rib Cartilage

  • Patient’s own tissue
  • Used to sculpt the ear framework

Ear Cartilage

  • From patient’s opposite ear
  • Partial reconstruction
  • For smaller defects

Skin Flaps

  • From skin near the ear
  • Coverage of ear framework or open wounds
  • Skin Grafts
  • Coverage of ear framework or open wounds

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary. Images do not constitute a promise or representation of any particular outcome or experience.

Fat Grafting in Ear Reconstruction

  • New technique developed by Dr. Grant A. Fairbanks in Secondary Ear Reconstruction

Prosthetic Ear  

  • Option for those who cannot or do not want to undergo surgery

Synthetic Ear Frameworks (Medpor)

  • Non-living material
  • Chance of erosion through the skin is high
  • Infection incidence is higher
  • Removal of the synthetic ear framework necessary with infection
  • Lost chance for a successful ear reconstruction
  • Protective sensation of the ear is less, if existent at all
  • Not a recommended choice

Timing of Surgery

  • Microtia – 6 years and older
  • Injury – Initial surgical repair at the time of the injury while certain stages of the surgery may require that the patient is at least 6 years of age
  • Cancer – At the time of removal of the cancer

Surgery to Restore Hearing

  • Atresia is the absence of the ear canal 
  • Usually associated with microtia
  • Consultation with an Otolaryngologist (ENT)
  • Determine if the internal ear components are developed enough to restore hearing
  • Possible New External Ear Canal can be created
  • Timing – Typically 6 months after external ear reconstruction is completed
  • Surgically placed Bone Conduction Hearing Aid

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary. Images do not constitute a promise or representation of any particular outcome or experience.

Alternative Option

  • Timing – After external ear reconstruction is completed, determined by ENT 
  • The Otolaryngologist will help to understand the best option for the patient.

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary. Images do not constitute a promise or representation of any particular outcome or experience.

Secondary Ear Reconstruction in Utah

  • Revisionary reconstruction for those with unsatisfactory results by another surgeon
  • Preferred method – Use of the Existing Auricular Envelope for Salvage of the Reconstructed Ear
  • Timing and possibility for surgery is based on the patient’s presenting results
  • The technique is more difficult than Primary Ear Reconstruction in Utah
  • Usually takes longer than Primary Ear Reconstruction in Utah

The higher-level technique is fully recognized and appreciated by the patient and family as they see the final result

The majority of Dr. Fairbanks’ Secondary Ear Reconstructions come from the State of Utah.

Summary

The normal external ear has a cartilage frame covered by thin skin. The Rib Graft Cartilage Framework Technique used for Reconstruction of Microtia in Utah, as well as for other reasons, is the preferred method used worldwide. The Fairbanks technique is based off that of Dr. Burt Brent, the foremost authority on microtia. 

The rib graft method allows Dr. Fairbanks to recreate the deformed ear to be more anatomic. It is a living ear, sculpted from the patient’s own tissues, which can withstand injury and infection similar to a natural ear. Dr. Fairbanks has found that this technique allows the patient to have Protective Sensation of the New Ear

 

Dr. Fairbanks is a member of the International Society for Auricular Reconstruction (ISAR). He has presented multiple Scientific Presentations on ear reconstruction. Presented subjects include:

The Art of Ear Reconstruction

Secondary Ear Reconstruction Using the Existing Tissue Envelope

Fat Grafting in Auricular Reconstruction

Salvage of Banked Costal Cartilage Auricular Framework

Approaching Uncommon Problems in Auricular Reconstruction

 

When done well, the rib graft ear is preferable to a prosthetic ear. It is a superior method to that using synthetic/artificial framework which has limited protective sensation. The quality of the ultimate result of the cartilage-based ear depends upon the Ear Surgeon’s Artistic Ability to sculpt the new ear framework

See more of Dr. Fairbanks’ exceptional results of Ear Reconstruction at RockyMountainEars.com.