Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Special Needs Spotlight: Microtia

What is Microtia?
Microtia is a congenital deformity where the external ear is underdeveloped. It can occur on one side (unilateral) or on both sides (bilateral). It can range in severity, from a malformed outer ear, to absence of the outer ear and ear canal opening.

What is Aural Atresia?

The term aural atresia refers to the absence of the ear canal. Patients who have microtia usually, but not always, also have aural atresia. Patients who have aural atresia have no hearing on that side but usually have completely normal hearing in the normal ear.

Patients who lack the ear canal also have structural abnormalities of the middle ear with absence of the eardrum and incomplete formation of the small middle ear bones, which allow conduction of hearing through the middle ear.

What are the effects of Microtia?

Microtia is usually isolated, but may occur in conjunction with hemifacial microsomia, Goldenhar Syndrome, or Treacher-Collins Syndrome. It is occasionally associated with kidney abnormalities, and jaw problems, and more rarely, heart defects and vertebral deformities.

Children with microtia and atresia usually have hearing loss on the affected ear. It is important to ensure that there is sufficient hearing because children will not develop normal speech unless they have normal hearing. Children with atresia have hearing loss because the sound cannot travel into the inner ear.

How is Microtia Treated?

Treatment of microtia may or may not include surgery. Parents of children who do not want surgery can opt for an external prosthesis. Depending on the technique used and the degree of abnormality, the reconstruction can be performed in two, three, or four stages. There is a movement toward reducing the number of stages in as many patients as possible to a total of two stages.

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1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    My name is John and I have a quick question about your blog! Could you please email me?

    Thank you,