jose cortes en logo
Icono Microtia

Ear surgery: Microtia

Ear surgery is recommended for people with partial or total lack of the ear. Depending on the alterations, it will be the type of intervention to be performed. 

The indicated age for children is from 8-10 years of age so that the development of the rib cage has enough cartilage.

What is Microtia?

Microtia is a congenital malformation that means the absence of an ear or an alteration of some part of it with inadequate development. Our organs, specifically the ears, develop in the womb during the first three months of pregnancy. It is more frequent in males and commonly occurs only on one side, although there are bilateral cases. 

Among all the variants of malformations, type IIA is the most common, characterized by an absence of the ear canal and only the presence of remnants of skin and cartilage. Microtia is also usually associated with malformations of the midface where the ear is affected, such as the presence of hemifacial microsomia. 

Among congenital malformations of the face, microtia is the second most common after cleft lip and palate.


This ear surgery is ambulatory with local anesthesia or sedation, with a duration of 3 hours. The recovery is very fast, from 3 to 5 days with the application of a tape on the ears for 3 days.  Total recovery is in 20 days.

Frequently asked questions

It is performed as soon as the ear growth is complete and the ear is adult size, around 7-8 years of age. During its development, the child with microtia is forming his self-perception and could be subjected to a lot of teasing in his environment. It is important to value this issue as it brings benefits to our mental and social health.

Ear reconstruction can be performed in two ways:

Reconstruction of the ear with the patient's own rib.
Placement of osseointegrated implants and silicone ear prosthesis.

Ear reconstruction with rib

To extract the rib cartilage to form and carve the frame that will shape the new ear, you must have at least 60 cm of thorax circumference to have enough cartilage and we must take into account that children's ears grow over the years. It is necessary to wait for their contralateral ear to reach its final adult size. This occurs at approximately 8 years of age.

Placement of silicone ear prosthesis with osseointegrated implants.

An alternative to the reconstruction of the ear with a rib is the placement of a silicone prosthesis. However, this is placed semi-permanently with the placement of screws inside the bone of the temporal area of the skull. 

This intervention must be planned initially with a tomography to determine the thickness of the bone where the screws called osseointegrated implants will be placed. Subsequently, they will be placed in the temporal bone area. During the same surgery all the remnants are removed so as not to interrupt the proper placement of the silicone prosthesis. 

After a couple of weeks, once healed, the prosthesis is designed and color adjustments are made so that they have the same tone as the patient's skin, adapting properly to the ear. 

It is important to consider that the prosthesis wear out, they lose their color due to the natural wear of use and sometimes they must be replaced or retouched approximately every 3 years.

There is an important difference in time between one and the other type of reconstruction. In the placement of prosthesis is approximately 45 minutes and in rib reconstruction is about 3.5 hours.

Both ear prosthesis reconstruction and rib reconstruction are performed under general anesthesia.

It depends on the type of reconstruction. Generally speaking, both types of reconstruction average 10-15 days.

  • The following costs should be considered for the ear prosthesis:

    - Medical fees of the surgical team that will place the osseointegrated screws.
    - Hospital expenses: hospital expenses related to the use of the operating room, anesthesia, etc. should be considered.
    - Osseointegrated implants
    - Cost of the prosthesis: it is variable according to the material used, painting quality. The prosthetist's fees should be considered.

En caso de reconstrucción con costilla no considerar los últimos dos puntos.

Technical data

Hospitalization: Ambulatory, no hospitalization required

Anesthesia: General

Surgery Time: 45 minutes to 3.5 hours

Resting time: 20 days

Dr. José Cortés

Dr. José Cortés

Graduated as a Surgeon from the University of Guadalajara.

About the author
Learn about more procedures of Ears
Do you have any questions?

Av. Baja California 261 Piso 7 – 20, Col.

Hipódromo, México D.F. 06100

    [anr_nocaptcha g-recaptcha-response]