Microtia and Atresia Program

The Ear Institute of New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (NYEE) is recognized as one of the nation’s leaders in state-of-the-art care for a wide range of ear disorders in children. Our Microtia and Atresia program offers comprehensive services, including evaluation, surgery, therapy, fitting of hearing devices, support, and education services, all under one roof.

Microtia is a rare congenital condition in which a child is born with one or both malformed external ears. The condition can range from mild to severe; in rare cases, the ear is completely missing. Microtia is often associated with aural atresia, the absence of normal ear components, including the ear canal, tympanic membrane, and small middle ear cavity, resulting in moderate to severe hearing loss.

Evaluation and Treatment

At the Ear Institute, microtia cases are treated by a highly skilled, multidisciplinary team of fellowship-trained otolaryngologists (ear, nose, and throat doctors), as well as audiologists (hearing specialists), facial plastic surgeons, and other specialists. Evaluation includes hearing tests, CT scan of the temporal bone to detect the amount of internal deformity, and x-rays of the face and mandible to detect hemi-facial malformations and bite irregularities.

After conducting these tests, our team determines the best treatment approach most likely to result in the optimal outcome. In addition to reconstruction surgery, additional procedures may involve opening the ear canal or bone-anchored hearing aids. Parents may opt for an external prosthesis, which can be affixed to the side of the patient's face with titanium pins or medical glue.

Our ear specialists work closely with facial plastic surgeons to reconstruct the ear. At the Ear Institute, we most commonly perform an advanced two-stage reconstructive procedure using the patient’s own rib cartilage to sculpt a new ear. This preferred technique minimizes the risk of rejecting foreign implant material, typically requires no more than one overnight hospital stay, and offers patients greater comfort and quicker recovery time  than the standard four-to-six-stage techniques often performed at other institutions. Once the first stage of surgery is complete, the patient has the appearance of a sculpted ear. The second surgery further refines the ear structure and appearance. Reconstructive surgery improves physical appearance, facilitates the use of eyewear, improves the child’s self-esteem, and enhances quality of life.

Improving Hearing 

Following surgery, our speech-language pathologists work closely with the audiologists in our pediatric hearing program to evaluate your child’s hearing and language development and to create a coordinated, individualized treatment plan to achieve as much hearing as possible. This may include assistive technology such as hearing aids, or cochlear implants. The Ear Institute is recognized as one of the leading cochlear implant centers in the nation.

Because children's academic progress is directly linked to their language skills, we work closely with our young patients from a very young age. The Ear Institute is one of the few centers to offer early intervention for children under three to give parents the necessary tools and resources to facilitate their child’s language development.

Providing all services in one location is more than just a time-saving convenience for our young patients and their families. It ensures that their entire team of doctors, audiologists, speech therapists, and teachers works together to seamlessly address all aspects of a patient’s condition.

For more information or to make an appointment, please call 212-614-8379 or email us microtia@nyee.edu.