Some children suffer from microtia, a congenital deformity in which the external part of a child’s ear is not developed appropriately or is usually malformed. It can either be caused in one ear or both ears. Moreover, 90 percent of cases occur unilaterally.
However, it is not the cause of worry as it can be treated with the help of microtia surgery. Hence, this blog is going to discuss this issue in detail and the treatment procedures that are effective in curing this problem.
Grades Of Microtia
There are four different levels, grades, or severity of microtia. They are discussed below:
- In grade I, the child may have an external ear, which is small but normal. In this grade, the ear canal is either narrowed or missing.
- Grade II affects the bottom third of the child’s ear, which includes earlobes too. Although it appears to be developed normally, the top two-thirds are small and malformed. In this grade, the ear canal is narrowed or missing too.
- Grade III is considered the most common type of microtia that was observed in infants and children. In this grade, the child may have underdeveloped or small parts of an external ear present. It usually includes the beginning of the lobe and a small part of cartilage at the top. Here, the child does not have an ear canal.
- Grade IV or anotia is the most severe form of microtia. In this grade, the child has no ear or ear canal, either unilaterally or bilaterally.
How To Diagnose Microtia?
Microtia can be diagnosed through observation. The doctor first examines the child’s ear, nose, and throat and conducts hearing tests with pediatric audiologists. By doing so, they determine the severity of the problem. The extent of the microtia can also be diagnosed through a CAT scan. However, it is performed on elder children.
While the audiologist will determine the child’s level of hearing loss, the ENT evaluates the absence or presence of an ear canal. After running some crucial steps, the doctor will perform microtia surgery.
The different types of treatment or microtia surgery include:
Rib Cartilage Graft Surgery
Parents opting for this type of surgery should know that they have to undergo two to four procedures that will take several months or even years. In this procedure, the rib cartilage is removed from the child’s chest and is used to create the shape of the ear. Then, it is implanted under the skin in the place of the ear. The doctor also performs additional surgeries or skin grafts to better position the ear.
Medpor Graft Surgery
In this type of surgery, synthetic material is implanted in the place of an ear. It can be completed in one procedure and then uses scalp tissue to cover the implant material. Children under the age of 3 can undergo this treatment effectively.
A child born with microtia can live a full life only when they tend to acquire appropriate treatment and any needed lifestyle modifications.