If your child was born with microtia, you may be struggling to understand why. How did this condition develop? Is microtia genetic? Did you do something to cause your child’s condition? Although scientists still have a lot to learn about the causes of microtia, Beverly Hills specialists Dr. John Reinisch and Dr. Youssef Tahiri want parents to know that this rare condition is not their fault. As researchers work diligently to learn more about the underlying causes of microtia, there is still a large amount of information available about the condition. Parents can help their children by learning more about microtia, its effects, and the various treatment options available. To speak to a microtia expert and explore various state-of-the-art treatments, contact Dr. Reinisch and Dr. Tahiri today.
Microtia literally means small ear. Children with this rare condition have a small, abnormally-shaped or absent external ear. Most children have this condition only on one side (unilateral), however it can occur on both sides (bilateral). Typically, microtia only involves the outer ear, but can also cause difficulty hearing and determining the direction of sound. In some cases, a child with microtia will have no hearing in the affected ear, due to the absence of the ear canal. This is called aural atresia. A child with microtia and aural atresia in both ears will be significantly hard of hearing and require a hearing aid. Children with aural atresia typically also have incomplete formation of the small middle ear bones and may lack an eardrum.
Dr. Tahiri and Dr. Reinisch specialize in microtia surgery for children. Patients from all over the USA and the visit their Beverly Hills office to discuss microtia and surgical treatment.
Microtia is a congenital condition, which causes a child to be born with a small, malformed, or missing ear. For 90% of microtia patients, the condition only affects one ear. Because microtia is so rare, it is rarely detected on prenatal ultrasounds. The condition can also come as a surprise to parents because children with microtia rarely have a family history of the irregularity. Microtia is especially rare in the U.S., where only 1 in every 8,000-10,000 children is born with this condition each year. Incidents of microtia are higher in other countries, however, particularly in Central and South America, and China sees more instances of microtia than anywhere else in the world. Dr. Reinisch and Dr. Tahiri see patients from around the world. Their institute is globally recognized, thanks to their innovations and advanced surgery for aesthetic correction and hearing restoration.
Stages of Microtia
There are four stages, or grades, of microtia:
Dr. Tahiri and Dr. Reinisch are renowned for their ability to treat all four stages of microtia.
Effects of Microtia
Children with all stages of microtia may face harassment and bullying, particularly at school. However, the most obvious difficulty for microtia patients is the decreased hearing ability resulting from a narrowed or missing ear canal. Although patients can still hear out of the unaffected ear, diminished hearing can make it difficult to detect individual sounds in noisy environments. When a patient can only hear on one side, the brain has difficulty filtering out background noise and determining which direction noises are coming from. This diminished hearing can cause trouble for patients, especially in school and social settings. In some cases, it can also lead to speech impairment.
Learn more about treatment options
Fortunately, Dr. Reinisch and Dr. Tahiri offer advanced treatment for both the cosmetic problems and the hearing difficulties associated with microtia. Their innovative MEDPOR® (or OMNIPORE®) technique allows them to create an external ear structure using a child’s own tissues – a procedure which offers a number of benefits. They also works with an otologist to enhance hearing and, if possible, create a new ear canal to more fully restore this sense. Contact Dr. Reinisch and Dr. Tahiri to learn more about microtia and their renowned treatment options.