Microtia is a congenital deformity where the pinna (external ear) is underdeveloped. Microtia can be unilateral (one side only) or bilateral (affecting both sides). Microtia occurs in 1 out of about 8,000–10,000 births. In unilateral microtia, the right ear is most commonly affected. It may occur as a complication of taking Accutane during pregnancy. The Four Grades of Microtia
• Grade 1: Small ear with mostly normal ear anatomy and often no canal or a narrow canal.
• Grade 2: Characterized by some ear anatomy, including a developed tragus. The bottom 1/3 of the ear is usually normal, no ear canal or a narrow canal.
• Grade 3: Most common form of microtia, characterized by small, undeveloped ear remnants and no canal.
• Grade 4: Also referred to as anotia, no ear remnants or canal present.
HOW IS MICROTIA DIAGNOSED?
An ear-nose-throat specialist may diagnose Microtia based on physical observation. He may order for an X-ray to confirm the grade of Microtia. Children affected with microtia loos 40-50% of their hearing. Speech is generally not affected by microtia
HOW IS MICROTIA TREATED?
Microtia is potential to lead to psychological problems as children get older, reconstructive surgery is recommended in most cases. Good results improve children’s confidence and self-esteem. The surgery is done in a series of staged ear reconstructions, separated by about six to 12 months.
DID YOU KNOW?
Microtia is usually isolated, but may occur in conjunction with hemifacial microsomia, Goldenhar Syndrome Treacher-Collins Syndrome. It is also occasionally associated with kidney abnormalities, and jaw problems, and more rarely, heart defects and vertebral deformities.