Medpor ear surgery is the newest technique in ear surgery for microtia, pioneered in 1991 by Dr. John Reinisch. Dissatisfied with the inherent limitations of traditional Rib Cartilage Ear Surgery, Dr. Reinisch invented the use of a porous polyethelene compatible with living tissue (called Medpor) to create the structural framework of the ear. This technique is the only accepted surgical alternative to Rib Cartilage ear surgery. Unlike Rib Cartilage, where the framework is placed under a tight skin envelope, the Medpor implant is placed on the top of the scalp. This allows the creation of an ear with an equivalent projection and symmetric appearance to the normal ear in one outpatient surgery.
The Medpor framework is covered with a very thin “living tissue flap” taken from beneath the scalp that completely wraps around the implant, allowing this living tissue to integrate into the porous Medpor. Skin is then grafted on top of the flap. Medpor surgery can be performed on children as young as three years old, because the surgery does not depend on the patient having sufficient rib cartilage.
In 2006, Dr. Lewin developed an innovative surgical technique to retrieve the living tissue flap without requiring any incisions in the scalp. This advance has eliminated many of the criticisms of Medpor ear surgery, as the scarring and technique is now less invasive than the Rib Graft ear surgery.
The following presentation explains how the surgery is performed:
A unique advantage of Medpor surgery is the possibility for early surgical restoration of hearing because the creation of the ear canal (atresia repair ) is usually accomplished before ear reconstruction. By comparison, in the Rib Cartilage procedure, the canal is created after the ear is reconstructed. Therefore, the Medpor technique gives your child a functional and realistic-appearing ear well before kindergarten, thus minimizing the psychological concerns of entering school without an ear.
Very few surgeons have been adequately trained to work with Medpor. Due to the technical expertise required to perform Medpor ear surgery, it is essential that surgeons using this technique have extensive experience. Results are optimized and complications are minimized if the surgeon you select for your child’s ear reconstruction performs Medpor Microtia surgery on a regular basis.
Before your child has surgery, your medpor surgeon will discuss the benefits, alternatives and limitations, as well as the potential risks and complications with you. Although problems may occur in any operation, when surgeons without significant experience perform Microtia reconstruction, the results can be very traumatic for the child and the family. We urge you to see before and after pictures of patients before choosing your child’s microtia surgeon.
The patients shown below all had failed Medpor ear surgeries who desired a new reconstruction with Medpor.