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Does a surgically constructed ear grow?

Ears created from the person’s own rib cartilage are alive but there is no evidence that they grow.

Ear reconstruction is a form of surgery performed to build or rebuild an ear missing due to a congenital disorder or damage caused by cancer surgery or trauma.

There are two main methods for ear reconstructions which center around the materials used for the ear framework - one uses the patient’s own tissues and the other uses a framework of synthetic material.

Rib Cartilage vs. Synthetic Materials

The materials make the difference between the results of these techniques:

  • Ears constructed from the patient’s own rib cartilage grow with the patient and retain their form indefinitely.
  • Ears reconstructed from synthetic materials cannot grow.

However, whether the ear grows or not is not important because a normal ear is close to its full, adult size at around 5-6 years of age, which means that an adult size ear can be constructed without worrying about future growth.

Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.

Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Education/Medical-Library/