Ear Canal Atresia
Atresia is due to failure of canalisation of the external auditory canal and may be complete or partial. It is often associated with middle or inner ear abnormalities. It may be associated with microtia or anotia of the pinna. It is mandatory to check the hearing in both ears in babies with atresia. This is done by a comprehensive hearing assessment which includes ABR (BERA) – both AC and BC, ASSR and conditioned audiometery.
The treatment is primarily aimed at restoring the child’s hearing. A CT scan of the ear is carried out to study the degree of development of the outer, middle and inner parts of the ear. Based on this and the hearing level, multiple options may be discussed with you.
Surgery to reconstruct the ear canal and the ear drum (canalplasty with tympanoplasty) is an option if the CT findings are favourable. The other options to restore hearing are by the use of various implantable hearing devices. A BAHA (Bone Anchored Hearing Device) may be worn using a head band or fixed to the bone behind the ear using an osseointegrated fixture (screw). The Vibrant Soundbridge (VSB) middle ear implant may be surgically implanted into the middle ear. A Bonebridge (Bone conduction implant) may be implanted into the mastoid bone.