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Ear and atresia reconstruction: adult and paediatric

Published on 20 April 2020

The Ear and Atresia Reconstruction Service provides assessment and review for adults and children who need ear reconstruction and/or implantable hearing devices. The service is located at St John’s Hospital Livingston for adults. The Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh covers children.

What is ear and atresia reconstruction?

Ear and atresia reconstruction can be needed as a result of a congenital condition, such as microtia (deformity of the elastic cartilage of the outer ear). Problems are also sometimes acquired, for example through deformity resulting from trauma, infection or cancer.

With microtia the inner ear may be normal. This allows hearing to be salvaged using bone-anchored hearing aids. Ear reconstruction can then be undertaken – either using cartilage from a patient's rib or by deploying a prosthetic (artificial) ear. The latter gives a more acceptable cosmetic outcome.

Ear reconstruction is an extended procedure rather than a single event. It is often split into phases of management (assessment, surgery and rehabilitation support). Each ear reconstruction may need two surgical procedures. Minor revisions of shape, or modification of the shape with growth, may need a third procedure.

Further information about this service is available on the NHS Lothian website.

Lead clinician

Mr Ken Stewart, Consultant Paediatric Plastic Surgeon

NSD contact

Programme Manager, Mel Miller – mel.miller@nhs.net – 0131 2757483

Address

St John’s Hospital
Howden Road West
Howden
Livingston
West Lothian
EH54 6PP

Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh
9 Sciennes Road
Edinburgh
EH9 1LF