Often, patients and families ask us how does the ear look like in the long-term.
As you know Medpor ear reconstruction is my procedure of choice when it comes to treating Microtia or acquired total ear defects.
Cartilage reconstruction is associated with delay in treatment (10 years of age), rib cartilage harvest with a chest scar, pain associated with the rib harvest, multiple stages needed, need to stay in the hospital, and often patients have a sub-optimal outcomes. I used to perform cartilage ear reconstruction early in my career but then switched to Medpor. I asked myself: knowing what I know, would I do a cartilage ear reconstruction on my own kid; and the answer is NO. Would I do a Medpor ear reconstruction on my own kid and the answer is yes.
The advantages of the Medpor ear reconstruction include:
- It is done as an outpatient procedure
- It is relatively painless
- It is done as a single stage
- The end result is superior to the best cartilage reconstructions I have seen
- No need for rib grafts
- The final outcome is beautiful
Since Medpor is a relatively newer procedure compared to cartilage reconstruction, a large number of patients ask us if we have long-term photos and how does the Ear look over the years.
Having the chance to work very closely with the inventor of the Medpor Ear reconstruction, Dr. Reinisch, I am able to see older patients with long follow-ups. I notice on my patients as well as his patients that the definition of the ear only keeps improving with time and remains good over time. In contrast, ears reconstructed with cartilage often lose definition over time and do not look like a well-defined ear 10 years after the initial reconstruction. Also, I noticed that cartilage ears lose quickly definition after the second and third stages of surgery.
I am glad to present here a patient with a 20-year follow-up, following his Medpor ear reconstruction. His ear maintained its definition.