Microtia Repair Stages and Cost of Surgery
Microtia is defined as underdevelopment of the ear and is present at birth. This can cause psychological issues in children depending on the severity and stage of the deformity. As such, microtia repair is often done during the early years of a child’s life, and often before starting school or in the first years of schooling. If you are considering microtia repair for your child, one of your first considerations will be to find the best otoplasty surgeon in your area. Finding a physician that you are comfortable with and that your child is comfortable with will ensure the best possible outcome for your child’s ear plastic surgery.
Once you have selected a doctor, you and your child will likely have a few appointments discussing the technique in which the ear deformities will be corrected. Rib cartilage graft reconstruction involves using cartilage from the child’s rib in order to form an ear. The child must be old enough for this operation, but the benefits include the ear growing with the child, as their own parts are being used. This is however a multi stage process and can take up to 4 actual surgeries and follow up procedures. Another form of microtia repair begins at an earlier age, often as young as three, and is a multi stage process. In the first and second stages, the implant is applied in order for the child’s own tissue to grow around it. Subsequent procedures are required for adjustments and optimization, but this method can often be done on an outpatient basis without hospitalization. Lastly, prosthetics can be considered. These are applied via adhesive or screws and require a bit of minimal daily care. These are ideal for older patients who were unable to benefit from microtia repair at younger ages.
Once you have selected a method, the procedure is performed in either one, two or three steps normally. After that, otoplasty recovery follows. During this time, activity restriction is limited, although avoidance of sports is advised for about 6 weeks following surgery.
Insurance will often cover some or all of the cost of this surgery given that it is considered a birth defect that can also be a result of other medical conditions. However, for people without health insurance, many suggest fundraisers or community outreach to fund the surgery, which can reach upwards of almost $50,000 per ear.