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Plastic surgeons at Children’s Hospital Colorado treat a variety of ear conditions with leading-edge surgical techniques. Some ear deformities are cosmetic and others can cause hearing and developmental concerns.
Our doctors are regionally and nationally recognized as experts in plastic surgery, particularly within the face, head and neck. They are presently conducting an international study of the genetics and clinical outcomes of ear reconstruction for kids affected by microtia in Guatemala.
Treatment is directed by a group of plastic surgeons who are focused and specialty-trained to treat pediatric patients with facial abnormalities and concerns.
At Children’s Colorado, our specialists work together to treat the whole child – not just the illness or injury. Our plastic surgery team works with other pediatric specialties including ear, nose and throat, audiology, genetics and speech pathology to assist with any other health concerns like hearing or speech.
Ears that appear “pushed too far forward” are referred to as prominent ears.
The surgical correction, called otoplasty, is performed by making a small incision behind the ears and by using sutures (also known as stitches) to reshape ear cartilage.
Microtia is a condition where the ear(s) does not fully develop. It is either too small or nearly absent, called lobular microtia or a constricted ear.
Reconstruction usually begins when kids are around 7 years old and involves a number of stages.
The first stage involves transferring the cartilage portion of a number of ribs to replace the missing ear cartilage. The additional stages of lobule transposition, ear elevation and reconstruction are usually completed within the following six to 12 months.
Traumatic injuries can range from a split earlobe to the loss of large portions of the ear, such as from a dog bite or laceration. The type of repair depends on the extent of the tissue loss.