Microtia and anotia
Microtia and anotia are medical terms used to describe the under or no development of the outer ear or pinna. When a baby is born with this disorder and especially if not picked up with antenatal ultrasound it is undoubtedly a major disappointment and stressor for the family.
This reaction by the parents, is understandably but in the majority of cases not as serious as contemplated.
In the first place it has to be understood that this condition can occur in 0,7 – 2,3 out of 10 000 life births. When your baby is born with this condition it is important to note that in over 99% of cases it is nothing that you as the mother did wrong!
When your baby is born with this disorder the first step is to stay calm. Before any plastic surgery or correction of the outer ear is to be considered it is more important to establish the hearing ability of your child. To establish this, you should contact an ENT surgeon and audiologist. Restoring and correcting hearing is the most important intervention in the first few years of live because the ability to hear and develop speech and language after 5 years greatly diminishes. Therefore, sort out the hearing first. To improve hearing numerous solutions ranging from hearing aids to cochlear implants(CI) are available.
The outer appearance and cosmesis, although usually the major concern of the parents, is probably less important than the hearing. A number of solutions to restore the outer appearance exist, including plastic surgery, Medpore and prosthetic ears. Undoubtedly prosthetic ears currently give the best cosmetic results. This is my opinion but kindly request results from other modalities. Please read more on prosthetic ears which is offered by this practice. Whatever route to correct the outer ear is taken it is of major importance to involve the child with the decision. Even if the child is teased and psychological factors play a role it is better to delay the decision so that the child can partake in what is eventually done.