What is microtia?

Microtia is a birth deformity of the ear.

Microtia is a congenital deformity, when the external ear is small and not formed properly. It usually occurs during the first few weeks of pregnancy. Microtia can vary from being barely noticeable to being a major problem. Usually, microtia affects the baby’s external ear, the parts of the inner ear are not affected. However, there are babies having microtia with a narrow or missing ear canal.

Microtia can be unilateral (the right ear is affected usually) or bilateral, affecting both sides.

The four grades of microtia

  • incomplete development of the external ear with identifiable structures with a small, external ear canal
  • a partially developed ear with a closed stenotic external ear canal causing a conductive hearing loss
  • absence of the external ear with a small peanut-like structure with an absence of the external ear canal and ear drum
  • total absence of the ear or anotia
  • microtia is visible at birth
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Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Education/Medical-Library/

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