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In some cases it is necessary to make the complete outer ear in the most beautiful shape possible. If essential parts of the ear are missing for the function of hearing, or the ear is strikingly unnatural, then an artificially modeled ear can help. Modern methods use stem cell cultures on ear models from the 3d printer.
Build your own ear
As a rule, enough rib cartilage is available in the body so that the body's own tissue can be used to build up the ear. The costal cartilage is a little better at shaping the ear, as it is firmer and more stable in the modeled form. Depending on the case, the surgeon can also remove cartilage and skin from the healthy ear and then use it to build up the ear.
Experienced doctors use their own cartilage material to form an auricle and cover the shape with a piece of removed skin. The skin for this is taken from a place on the body where it least disturbs the patient, for example, from the thighs up to 8 square centimeters large piece of skin.In an operative structure of an ear, the ear cartilage of the healthy ear and skin flap of the back of the affected ear is also used.
The risk of complications after surgery is so much lower, as only the body's own material was used to model the ear.
The reconstruction with tissue from costal cartilage is possible from the age of 10 years. From its own costal cartilage constructed auricles can thus still grow something with the body. The artificially modeled ears must sit as symmetrically as possible on the head for a great aesthetic impression.
Build the ear with an implant
If there is not enough cartilage to model the ear, then the outer ear can also be molded with an implant. The surgeon uses a material for the implant, which is best tolerated by the body.
A separate flap of the skin is pulled over the ear, the shape adapted and sutured as inconspicuously as possible.
Grow the ear in the lab
In the US, a procedure was created to make stem cells grow. First, a 3D printer is used to model an ear to match the individual and print it out as a polymer form.
Thereafter, the mold is colonized with previously removed stem cells of the patient. With the increasing colonization and networking of the cells, the form becomes superfluous and dissolves. In the process, cartilage cells were created, which then form the ear accordingly.
Reasons for an artificially modeled ear
- Strong restriction of hearing
- Genetic defect
Risks from an artificial ear
- Repulsion of threads
- Formation of fistulas
- Cartilage malformations
- Asymmetric ears
- Allergic reaction
If you have problems with artificial ears from your own tissues, you can also use the ears completely made of plastic. The ear is fixed to metal implants on the head. The artificial ear can be easily attached or removed. Alternatively, magnets or special adhesives can be used.
The disadvantage of these ears is that the color differences of the skin can not be adjusted by the sun or at low and high temperatures. Thus, an artificial ear is often conspicuous. In addition, the metal implants need to be well cleaned daily to minimize the risk of inflammation or infection. The artificial ear must be taken off while sleeping.
The statutory health insurance companies assume the costs for medically indicated cases. If hearing problems occur due to the deformation of the ear cartilage or mental problems manifest, the operation may be necessary to prevent further complications.
Price - cost in euro:
type of operation
1-2 hours, possibly several interventions
ability to work
after about 4 weeks
At the earliest after 6 months
assessable after a few months
The absence of the auricle, the external auditory canal and a malformation of the middle ear after birth leads to deafness. One solution to this is implantable hearing aids.
The surgery can be done before or after the auricle. Without hearing improvement, the auricular structure of microtia from the body's own material with two surgeries. Three surgeries are necessary if an ear canal and eardrum are needed.
Before the operation:
- 10 days before no blood thinning agents
- 10 days before no cigarette and alcohol consumption
After the operation:
- Wear a headband at night for 2 to 4 weeks.
- No sunning and sauna visits for 4 weeks
- No sports for 2 to 4 weeks
- Refrain from cigarette and alcohol consumption for 2 weeks