A prosthetic ear can be created to look very similar to a normal ear for a microtia patient by a specialist called a prosthetist or anaplastologist.
Two types of silicone prostheses may be created. One, a prosthesis that "sticks" on to the skin. The other is an osseointegrated prosthesis that requires surgery to place two or three titanium implants into bone around the ear as a special metallic fixation device onto which the prosthetic ear can be "snapped" into place.
Advantages of Prosthetic Ear Reconstruction
The advantages of prosthetic ear reconstruction for microtia patients are:
- The ear can be made to look very realistic
- A prosthetic ear is a simpler process with less risk than surgical reconstruction
- It provides an option for patients who are not candidates for surgery
Disadvantages of Prosthetic Ear Reconstruction
The disadvantages of prosthetic ear reconstruction for microtia patients are:
- It is hard to hide the seam where the silicone is next to normal skin. Matching skin color, which changes throughout the year, may be difficult.
- Repeatedly removing and replacing the device may cause breakage or the need for it to be readjusted
- Children and adults may lose the device while engaged in sports or through any rigorous activity or it may just fall off
- A prosthesis requires frequent care and periodic replacement