Microtia Repair – What Actually Happens During Microtia Surgery?
Microtia repair using the standard rib graft cartilage method is actually a 4-stage process that begins when the child is about 5 or 6 years old (see Children & Microtia). This is the optimal time for the microtia surgery to begin, but can start later if necessary. The stages of the process are usually spaced 2-3 months apart to allow for healing.
- Stage 1 of the microtia repair process is the surgery to acquire the rib cartilage that will be used to reconstruct the ear and create the basic size and shape of the ear. Stage 1 is the only stage that requires a hospital stay of one to two days and patients will have head bandages for 8 to 10 days. One week after surgery patients will return for a post-operative check-up.
- Stage 2 of the process involves creating the earlobe and is done a minimum of 2 months after stage 1. This procedure is done on an outpatient basis and the patient is home the same day. Stitches are removed one week after surgery.
- Stage 3 is known as elevation or lifting and it involves creating the outer rim area of the ear. This is also an outpatient procedure and is done at least three months after stage 2. The patient returns for a post-operative visit with Dr. Jones one week after surgery.
- Stage 4 of the process creates the tragus (the small pointed protrusion that protect the ear canal and collects sound from behind) and the external ear canal area. This is done on an outpatient basis, three months after stage 3 is completed. A post-op visit after 7 days will check that the area is healing properly. The sutures are removed at this visit.
Children generally recover very quickly from microtia surgery (see What is Microtia Recovery Like?) and without complications. Activity is restricted at first but otherwise normal activity can resume after several weeks.
Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mark Mitchell Jones or for more information about this innovative surgical procedure.