The Microtia Trust: An Initiative To Help Children Lead A Normal Life
Microtia is a congenital deformity where the pinna i.e. outer ear is underdeveloped. This condition affects the external appearance of the ear but usually the parts of the ear inside the head - the inner ear are not affected. It is observed that some babies with this defect also have a narrow or missing ear canal.
Microtia is a rare condition and occurs in 1 out of every 5,000 births. The main motive of The Microtia Trust is to make a difference in the lives of these little patients and their families. Every child deserves to grow up healthy and live a life of abundance. With The Microtia Trust, children who suffer from Microtia are provided with medical support. The donations made in the name of the trust directly foster care for hundreds of children.
Another motive behind establishing this trust was Dr. Parag’s vision to make people aware that Microtia can be treated surgically. A lot of parents of these young patients are not aware about the possibility of their child having an ear which is normal in appearance. Microtia ears vary in appearance but are generally smaller in size. Reconstruction of an absent or damaged ear is considered to be the most difficult surgery of reconstructive plastic surgery.
The ideal age for undergoing the ear reconstruction is from 9 to 13 years. The best material for reconstructing a new ear is a soft portion of the rib which is known as cartilage. There are artificial materials also available which includes porous polyethylene and silicone. These are less preferred for ear reconstruction as these may involve chances of infection.
Types of Microtia
There are four types of Microtia ranging from mildest to severe. Type 1 is the mildest and type 4 is severe. In Type 1 the ear retains its normal shape but is smaller than usual. In Type 4, all the external ear structures are missing.
The surgery for ear reconstruction is performed in two stages. In the first stage, the entire framework of the ear is created and inserted in the appropriate area on the side of the head. The ear looks complete from sideways but it lacks sulcus. In the second stage, the sulcus is created between 3-6 months after the first stage.
Causes of Microtia
In most cases, the exact cause of Microtia is unknown. Possible causes include:
Blockage of blood supply due to pressure from the positioning of the fetus against the inside of the mother or from the umbilical cord during the first trimester, causing underdevelopment of the external ear.
A drop in oxygen level during the first trimester causing the ear to cease in development.
Excessive drugs and alcohol during pregnancy, although this is a rare cause. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome causes Microtia in some babies. Microtia can also result from taking Accutane (isotretinoin) and methamphetamines during pregnancy.
The patient needs to be in the hospital for 3-4 days after the first stage and for 4-5 days for the second stage.
The Microtia Trust is an initiative for the children to lead a normal life. Dr. Parag Telang & Minal Telang are helping children by providing effective treatment for Microtia while taking care of the finances. We request all our readers to spread the word and help us help these children suffering from Microtia and other ear deformities.
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, MCh - Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, DAFPRS Fellowship in Aesthetic Surgery