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November 1991

A Recent Advance in Auricular Reconstruction

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1991;117(11):1226-1227. doi:10.1001/archotol.1991.01870230038005

A child born with unilateral or bilateral microtia can quickly dampen the joy felt by the family at the time of delivery. The incidence of congenital microtia is thought to be one in every 8000 to 10 000 births—approximately 500 occur annually in the United States. But because congenital microtia is one of the most difficult deformities for a surgeon to correct, it is imperative that the family receive accurate, up-to-date information regarding appropriate treatment.

Following earlier varied surgical procedures, in 1957 Dr Radford C. Tanzer first described his method for using autogenous rib cartilage to reconstruct the ears of children born without them.1 Since that time, Dr Burt Brent has perfected this technique. The Tanzer-Brent technique is the one that is currently favored in the United States.2

The most recent advances in auricular reconstruction are primarily concerned with ensuring that

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