Ear reconstruction consists of a surgery that is performed in the pavilion of the ear with the purpose of recovering the conventional shape when it suffers from a defect either congenital or pathological (birth deformities) or traumatic injuries.
Ear reconstruction is considered a variant of otoplasty and usually demands a high level of expertise from the surgeon. Usually, the ears are not included in the general aesthetic lines, but a deformation in it can generate self-rejection and low self-esteem to those who suffer from the problem.
The main reasons that are causing a reconstruction are:
- For acquired deformities.
- Auricular trauma.
However, the main cause of ear reconstruction is microtia, when a child has microtia there are 3 possible options:
- Do not do treatment and leave the ear as it is, although then the ear canal will not open to improve hearing.
- Surgical reconstruction with own tissues.
- Prosthetic reconstruction.
Microtia means small ear and can affect one or both ears, in case of being bilateral the risk of hearing loss is very high consists of a congenital lesion that can occur approximately in 10000 born.
Ear reconstruction surgery can greatly solve the hearing problem generated by this defect that usually has three levels of severity.
HOW THE PROCESS OF PERFORMING AN EAR RECONSTRUCTION?
First of all, it is necessary to carry out an assessment on the part of the specialist to the patient:
The specialist should perform an examination of the head and neck. In this study, the following factors are taken into account:
- Facial asymmetry
- And other studies of creneofacial microsomia.
The main purpose in an ear reconstruction surgery is to be able to achieve symmetry and for this an estimate of what should be the position and size of the contralateral ear must be made.
Before surgery it is essential that the surgeon develops a preoperative project where he studies what are the elements that will be needed to achieve the results.
In case of prosthesis: the surgeon forms a silicone mold as an exact copy of the other ear, in case the injury is bilateral the mold is made taking as a guide a relative of a similar age and then the area is marked to place the graft.
STEPS OR STAGES THAT ARE CARRIED OUT IN AN EAR RECONSTRUCTION
First stage: In case of not using prostheses, the first thing that is done is to obtain healthy cartilage from the ribs and then insert the prepared cartilage into a pocket of skin under the deformed or damaged ear.
Second stage: The new lobe is created. This outpatient surgery takes about an hour and the sutures are removed a week after the operation.
Third stage: The ear that has been formed (the cartilage frame and lobe) is lifted from the side of the head and then a skin graft is applied to the bottom of the ear.
Fourth stage: The specialist creates an opening in the shell (to make it look like a natural ear canal) and works to achieve symmetry and balance in the contours of the ear.
Postoperative care is essential for optimal results.
It is very important that after each stage of reconstruction the practice of sports is avoided for about a month, in addition you must be very attentive to the progress of the recovery from surgery to monitor the presence of any side effects.