I am often asked the question: what does the Medpor ear reconstruction for Microtia look like? Is it swollen? Does it look like an ear initially?
This question is very legitimate since the parents and patients only see the reconstructed ear at the 2-week post-operative visit when we remove the protective mold applied at the end of surgery. At that time, the ear is almost always swollen and does not have much definition. The reconstructed ear gains progressively definition over time and it takes approximately 4 months for the swelling to completely subsides. But after a couple of weeks, the patient and family can appreciated that the definition is improving significantly.
Swelling can re-appear in the future if there is a trauma to the ear or a mosquito bite. In those circumstances, it usually gets better after a couple of days.
Swelling is totally normal after surgery and removal of the mold. The older the patient is, the more swelling there is. The tissues are thicker and older patients have a tendency to bleed more and have a stronger inflammatory reaction. Eventually, it always subsides. Sometimes, we can use some Clobetazole (a steroid cream) under the mold at night for a couple of weeks. This steroid cream helps contain the inflammatory reaction and helps with the swelling.
The most important thing for the parents and patients is to always keep the ear clean, follow your surgeon recommendations and maintain a positive attitude while being patient. All swelling subsides (unless a complication occurs such as an infection). The swelling is part of the normal healing process.
I am attaching to this text a picture of a reconstructed Medpor Ear for Microtia reconstruction. This is what it looks like right after surgery on the operating table, before we apply the silicone mold.
Feel free to contact Dr. Tahiri if you have any questions with regards to Microtia and Medpor Ear Reconstruction.