Microtia is a congenital deformity affecting approximately one out of 4,000 births globally. Children born with the condition have incompletely formed or entirely missing ears.

Sidra Medicine now provides a world-class microtia reconstruction programme which is supported by Sidra Medicine’s Allied Health services for all forms of craniofacial disorders. This also covers children with the associated condition of hemifacial microsomia, including with interventions to augment and/or lengthen the undergrown tissues and bones of the face.

According to Dr Mitchell Stotland, Division Chief of Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery, this is a huge innovation for Qatar since microtia and hemifacial microsomia patients in the country don’t have to travel to hospitals abroad for their surgery and treatment.

In the past, microtia and hemifacial microsomia patients in Qatar were referred to hospitals in Europe or North America. Or experts from abroad were occasionally brought in for a few days to specifically treat the microtia. With the opening of our main hospital facility in January 2018, the Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery Division at Sidra Medicine began to offer many specialised pediatric services here in Qatar. The care we provide is done within a multidisciplinary context, which ensures the continuum of care for the patient. We have assembled a wonderful program with a world-class team. I also believe that what we provide now at Sidra Medicine for patients with microtia is on par with the finest care that can be obtained anywhere in the world.’

The microtia reconstruction surgical procedure involves using pieces of cartilage obtained from the patient’s chest. The cartilage is then trimmed and sculpted and the ear is meticulously assembled to match the child’s other ear, or possibly a parent’s ear for those children missing one on both sides.

Most surgical interventions for patients with microtia are performed after the age of four to five.

Dr Stotland noted:

For many of these children, we have also performed jaw lengthening and soft-tissue augmentation procedures. This operation, more than anything that is done in all of the surgery, truly is a cross-over between science and art. Much of the success of these procedures rely on careful planning, high-quality medical photography, the use of customised surgical templates, and attentive postoperative care to ensure optimal healing.’

One of the microtia patients recently treated at Sidra Medicine is Abdulrahman. His mother Maribel said the surgery would help his son boost his self-esteem. Maribel also expressed her gratitude to Dr Stotland and his team.

Abdulrahman loves his new ear, and I have seen him look at it in wonder in the mirror several times as he still can’t believe it was constructed from his own rib cartilage! I personally know the impact the surgery of having a new ear for my son means to him, especially as he grows older.’

The Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Sidra Medicine Dr Mansour Ali expressed his pride for their teams.

The level of expertise and skills we have amongst our pediatric specialities, speaks to the commitment by the Qatar Foundation and the Government of Qatar to give our patients the very best in care and services. Many of the country’s pediatric surgery milestones are putting Qatar on the global healthcare map.

For more details about Sidra Medicine, please visit www.sidra.org.