What is Microtia?

Microtia (Greek for ‘little ear’) is a malformation or misshape of the external part of the ear (pinna) and can vary in severity from the ear being smaller than expected to varying degrees of absence of the outer ear. In some cases, a smaller or incomplete ear canal and/or hearing apparatus may be present or missing altogether (atresia). Microtia is frequently accompanied by atresia because the baby’s outer ear and the ear canal develop together during pregnancy.

Microtia is a rare condition affecting 1 in 6,000 babies. It seems to affect more boys than girls and affects right ears more than left. Unilateral microtia (one ear) is more common, however approximately 1 in 10 children affected have bilateral microtia (both ears).

More information about microtia can be found in our New Parents Guide here.