Valuable Information on Microtia and Other Ear Surgeries

Training

Ear reconstruction is one of the most difficult undertakings of a surgeon. The necessary training and experience to perform these surgeries properly—close to perfection—are very hard to attain. The surgery is unforgiving; and optimally, one needs to have an extensive background in three surgical disciplines before specializing in this field. These three disciplines include otology (inner and middle ear surgery), plastic surgery (external ear surgery), and in ear reconstruction itself. Based on these three essential criteria and the training listed below, Dr. Jones is one of the most qualified ear surgeons in the world for this type of work. The following summarizes Dr. Jones’s training in these three disciplines prior to launching his practice in 1989:

  • 1981-1985: Otology, Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, and Facial Plastic Surgery training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Jones worked with Dr. George Nager, a renowned Swiss Otologist and a microtia expert.
  • 1985-86, 1987-88: Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery training at Stanford University Medical Center, in Stanford, California.
  • 1986-87: Fulbright Fellowship to Paris, France, where Dr. Jones worked with Dr. Paul Tessier and Dr. Francoise Fermin (the ear reconstruction specialist in Europe at the time)
  • 1988-89: Associate of California Ear Institute with Dr. Bert Brent and Dr. Rodney Perkins, specializing in External Ear Reconstruction.

Specialty in Microtia

Although Dr. Jones is well trained in the middle ear surgery, he limits his practice to external ear deformities to continue to perfect his mastery of this challenging discipline. However, his training and experience in the surgery on the middle ear permits Dr. Jones to work intimately with hits Otology colleagues in planning the total reconstruction effort so that the external ear reconstruction surgery does not compromise (and vice versa) the middle ear.

Challenging Surgery

From the patient perspective, surgery on the external ear can be one of the safest and easiest surgeries to undergo, if it is performed by a well trained, qualified, experienced, and careful surgeon. On the other hand, it can be one of life’s most frustrating and painful experiences, if it is performed by an inexperienced surgeon. Why is this? The tissues of the ear are extremely fragile and unforgiving, and thus have to be handled carefully. A surgeon skilled in understanding and discerning both how the ear is to be shaped during the surgery and how the reconstructed ear settles with time is a rare species. In fact, it has been estimated that the average plastic surgeon sees only three microtia patients during his or her career. That is why it is best for this demanding surgery to be performed by a surgeon experienced in microtia, and who performs this surgery regularly.

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