Ear reconstruction is a specialised kind of plastic surgery, which is used to form an ear that looks as normal as possible.
The plastic surgeon at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) will use a piece of cartilage (material that holds body structures together) from your child's ribcage to form the framework for the ear. Where possible, the surgeon will use your child's existing ear as a model for the new one. The reconstruction process is in two stages about six to twelve months apart.
Why is it needed and are there any alternatives?
Ear reconstruction tends to be suggested either because your child's ear has not fully developed, is missing or has been damaged. There are options available to you, including no treatment (leaving the ear as it is) or a prosthetic (false) ear. For more information about these options, please see our Microtia information sheet.
With all these options, it is important to remember that the aim of treatment is cosmetic, that is, it will improve the appearance of the ear but not how well it works.