Dr. Mark Mitchell Jones, Atlanta Plastic Surgeon, Educates Medical Professionals on Total and Subtotal Ear Reconstruction in Microtia and Trauma
Atlanta Plastic Surgery Specialists physician Dr. Mark Mitchell Jones is an internationally educated and trained surgeon who devotes a large portion of his practice to correcting congenital deformities like microtia. Nationally recognized as an authority on the subject, he recently spoke at the Lipscomb Lecture at a University of Virginia Medical Center seminar on November 8, 2010.
Microtia (comes from the Latin words micro and otia, meaning little ear) is a congenital birth defect that occurs on average in 1 in every 7,500 births. Certain ethnicities like Asians and Hispanics have a higher occurrence than Caucasians & African-Americans. The condition is more prominent in boys and in 90% of cases affects only one ear.
Reconstructive surgery to correct this defect is very challenging and needs to be performed by a surgeon who has the specialized training and skills necessary. By correcting this defect early in childhood, much of the social stigma and emotional stressors that affect these children can be avoided.
Our ears reach 90% of their full size by five years of age. This makes this an ideal time to begin the ear reconstruction process. The child is still young enough that the detrimental school bullying and teasing has not begun and the ear has virtually reached its adult size. Also the growth and development of the child has reached a stage where rib cartilage grafting can be safely performed. Psychologically it also helps if the child is mature enough to understand and consent to the surgery.
Dr. Jones uses the tried and true method of the rib graft technique to create a matching ear for his patients. Other treatments available include artificial implants, plastic glue-ons, or snap on ears. Dr. Jones believes that sculpted rib grafts have several advantages over other methods. First, the sculpted rib graft technique uses the patient’s own natural tissue that will grow along with the child and will not be rejected by the body. Secondly, it will also not fall off during sports or other activities and is less susceptible to infections that commonly plague artificial ears.
Other issues of artificial ears include a lack of natural coloring and sensation. A rib graft technique ear reconstruction will retain some sensation and will naturally flush with the skin around it with heat, cold, excitement or embarrassment. A natural looking appearance is a substantial advantage over an artificial ear.
Dr. Jones expertise has led him to develop several enhancements to the time tested rib graft technique. These enhancements include the ICG (Integrated Cartilage Graft), the WAE (Wrap Around Earlobe), JE (Juxtaposition Ear), and the BE (Bespoke Ear). Each of these ear repair and reconstruction techniques and developments has addressed reconstruction issues and positively impacted the patient’s quality of life.
“Many ask about the synthetic ears and why I believe my method is a superior approach. There are many reasons. First, as our bodies are designed to reject any foreign objects, the complication rate is much higher with synthetic ears. Also, a synthetic implant, whether a glued-on or a snapped-on ear, is physically inconvenient and cumbersome and is exposed to further trauma. Finally, notable otologists will not operate for the hearing part on a synthetic ear implant because of added complications. By reducing the risk of rejection and further trauma while not hindering the future work of an otologist are all solid reasons for using my rib grafting technique,” stated Dr. Jones.
Choosing the right surgeon is a critical decision because the first microtia repair surgery attempt is a child best chance to get the best possible results. If a patient needs to go back to another doctor to attempt to correct a poorly constructed ear, it takes an even better surgeon to do the job. It’s necessary to not only properly carve out the cartilage and design the ear but it must be done with speed, efficiency, effectively and safety. A surgeon must have a high level of dexterity and surgical skill to carve a three dimensional structure out of living tissue, matching the patients natural ear as a mirror image. The carved structure must also be inserted properly into the patient’s skin in a short time frame and make any adjustments necessary during the surgery.
Standard rib graft technique surgery is usually done in four stages. The first stage for the actual rib grafting procedure is the only stage that requires a hospital stay. The remaining stages are done on an outpatient basis and are necessary for construction of the earlobe, outer canal and refinement of the cartilage to resemble a natural ear. Since the entire process –allowing for healing between stages – can take a minimum of nine months it is good begin the process early.
An Atlanta plastic surgeon, like Dr. Mark M. Jones whose practice includes a substantial amount of ear surgery, is the best candidate to perform microtia correction. In addition to over twenty years of experience, Dr. Jones has dual certification in plastic surgery and otolaryngology (ENT). This unique combination of specialties gives Dr. Jones the ability to perform ear reconstruction without compromising the workings of the middle ear.
Dr. Jones has trained in some of the best hospitals in the U.S. and abroad. He has medical degrees from Oxford University as well as The Medical College of Georgia. He has done residencies at Johns Hopkins University and Stanford University Medical Center. With a Fulbright Fellowship, Dr. Jones trained in Paris, France learning the European state-of-art techniques in ear reconstruction from the leading French innovator.
“By spending ten years in ENT (ear, nose and throat) surgery training in addition to ten years of medical training, I gave myself the necessary background in the workings of the inner and middle ear that helped me to develop the enhancements to standard rib graft technique surgery. This unique skill set also allows me to assist my patients by using my knowledge of the middle ear in reconstructing the outer ear to maximize their hearing potential,” said Dr. Jones
This article is available in full in the PRWeb archives at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010/11/prweb4793224.htm
About Dr. Jones
Dr. Mark M. Jones is an Atlanta based plastic surgeon. His bachelors degree was in Chemistry and Pre-Med from Emory University and earned his medical degree from The Medical College of Georgia. Dr. Jones also attended the University of Canterbury in New Zealand for a degree in Medical Business Administration. Dr. Jones obtained an additional Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Oxford University in England. Upon returning to the United States, Dr. Jones completed a residency in otolaryngology and taught at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. A Fulbright fellowship in plastic surgery took Dr. Jones to Paris, France. Dr. Jones completed a second residency in plastic surgery and taught at Stamford University.
Dr. Jones is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery and The American Board of Otolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat; ENT). This unique dual certification combined with his 20 plus years of experience gives Dr. Jones exceptional expertise in ear reconstruction for microtia.
Dr. Mark Mitchell Jones of Atlanta Plastic Surgery Specialists is located at 2001 Peachtree Rd., N.E. Suite 630, Atlanta, GA 30309. He can be reached at (404) 355-3566 or contact us online.