Microtia Evaluation

How do we evaluate microtia?

After birth, once microtia is recognized, children may undergo an ultrasound evaluation of their kidneys to check for normal anatomy. Hearing evaluations are done with an Audiologist to check for degree of hearing loss. If any other abnormalities are noted at birth, a consultation with a geneticist may be valuable. An Ear, Nose and Throat doctor can evaluate the severity of microtia, establish the presence or absence of the ear canal, and discuss reconstruction options and hearing amplification options. If microtia is part of a craniofacial syndrome (e.g. Treacher Collins Syndrome), the child may also be evaluated by a craniofacial team of doctors, therapists and support staff.

Should a CT scan be performed?

It is almost never useful to obtain a CT scan to examine microtia when a child is young.  Newborns and young children are more susceptible to radiation exposure emitted from a CT scan, and this risk decreases with age.  Also, many of the tiny structures may not be well defined on the CT scan until the skull and temporal bone is closer to adult size.  Most canal atresia reconstruction surgeons like to wait to get the CT done close to the intended canal reconstruction, which must be done after the child has completed reconstruction of the external ear, usually around 9 or 10 years of age.