At our Cleft and Craniofacial Center, CHKD pediatric plastic surgeons treat two types of ear deformity: microtia (an unusually small ear) and atresia (the lack of ear canal and middle ear structures). Children can be born with one or both of these conditions, and often the ear deformities only happen on one side of the head. 

To treat microtia, plastic surgeons can carefully construct the outer part of the affected ear using cartilage from other areas of the child’s body. The ear will match the healthy ear, and, since it is made from your child's cartilage, it should grow with your child. Children have surgery to correct ear deformities when they are older, typically around five years old.

If your child has atresia, our pediatric plastic surgeons can construct an ear canal to help improve your child's hearing. Usually, your surgeon won't fix atresia until they have corrected microtia or any other ear deformities that affect the appearance of your child's ear. Children with ear deformities may also need bone-anchored hearing aids or other hearing aids to hear as well as possible. Our plastic surgeons work closely with expert pediatric otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat doctors) to treat hearing problems and properly build ear canals.

You can learn more about our Cleft and Craniofacial Center by calling (757) 668 – 7713.