Microtria Atresia


Microtia (meaning 'Small ear') is a congenital deformity of the outer ear. Over 90 % of the time, microtia is unilateral, meaning only one ear is affected, but it can also be bilateral, affecting both ears. Boys are affected more than girls, and in unilateral microtia, the right side is affected more than the left. Microtia occurrence in the general population is approximately one in 8,000 globally, but ranges wildly depending on ethnic group in question -- from less than one in 1000 in some indigenous groups in Mexico, the US and South America, to one in 2100 in the Japanese/Korean community, to 1 in 20,000 in the overall Caucasian community.

There are four grades of microtia:

  • Grade I: A slightly small ear with identifiable structures and a small but present external ear canal

  • Grade II: A partial or hemi-ear with a closed off or stenotic external ear canal producing a conductive hearing loss

  • Grade III: Absence of the external ear with a small peanut vestige structure and an absence of the external ear canal and ear drum

  • Grade IV: Absence of the total ear or anotia.

Grade III is most common, and can be corrected by surgery.


What is Aural Atresia / Canal Stenosis?

Aural atresia refers to the absence an external ear canal. When someone has aural atresia, there is a high incidence of malformation of the external ear and middle ear also, but the inner ear and auditory nerve are frequently normal.

A narrowed ear canal (i.e. one where the eardrum can be viewed, but the canal is narrower than normal) is sometimes referred to as a stenotic canal, or canal stenosis.

Aural atresia most commonly effects just one ear (unilateral), but can occur both ears (bilateral).

Atresia can be a symptom of a larger syndrome, such as Treacher Collins, Crouzon's, Alpert's, Preiffer, Klippel-Feil, BOR (Branchio-Oto-Renal), 18-q chromosome, as well as Hemifacial Microsomia.

Microtia Statistics:

• Nearly twice as frequent in males as in females
• Averages occurrence is 1 in 6,000 when averaged across all ethnic groups
• Approximately 60 % unilateral right, 30 % unilateral left, 10 % bilateral


For more Info on Brody's surgeries please follow these links;
Atresia Repair (Opening Canals)
Medpor (Outer ear construction)

Brody's Story (Blog)

Do you or someone you know have Microtia or Atresia?
Please check out Ear Community, they can help!

Ear Community and the Microtia and Atresia Support Group are a non profit organization that offers helpful resources that can help families and individuals around the world learn about Microtia

Promote educational and public awareness about Microtia and Atresia and hearing loss, in an unbiased manner, while promoting advocacy and connecting individuals in the same situation.

Ear Community is a warm and supportive community for those who have any or all of the following: varying degrees of hearing loss, Microtia, Atresia, Hemifacial Microsomia (HFM), Treacher Collins, or Goldenhar Syndrome. You will learn more about parent advocacy, self advocacy, and patient advocacy. You will discover information that can help you understand your options, find helpful resources, and ...learn about the latest technology and surgical options. You will even find emotional support through Ear Community. Most importantly, you will be able to connect with other individuals and families in the same situation and be able to share experiences with each other. 

Ear Community (www.EarCommunity.com) is a non profit organization that can help with some travel and hotel stay costs when planning for Microtia/Atresia surgery, help donate a new bone conductive sound processor/Baha to those who can not simply afford to purchase one or who have been denied coverage by their insurance company, and to award college scholarships to teens and young adults who have ch...osen to keep their little Microtia ears as not everyone wishes to have surgery. Ear Community also provides education, helpful resources, and options on our website to help you learn more about Microtia and Atresia. Ear Community also continues to host summer picnics helping bring Microtia/Atresia (and Goldenhar, Treacher Collins, and Hemifacial Microsomia) families together around the world. 

Harvest for Hearing will be giving an annual donation to Ear Community in Thanks for all the help & support they have given to Brody and his family!  

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