Medpor Ear Reconstruction

A newer method of reconstruction utilizes a synthetic framework instead of rib cartilage.  The framework is made from Medpor – a synthetic porous polyethylene.  Unlike the rib cartilage method where the cartilage framework is placed under the scalp, this framework is placed on the outside of the scalp and is then covered with a living membrane.   The porous material allows blood vessels from the membrane to grow through the implant over time.  Therefore, the framework is very well tolerated.

This technique of ear reconstruction was developed by Dr. John Reinisch who has used the method since 1991.  This surgery is performed in one stage if a tragus is present or two stages if the tragus is absent.  When Dr Reinisch performs this surgery, these procedures are done without the need for overnight hospitalization because of the minimal discomfort involved.

A Medpor Framework

During the 1st surgery, the framework is placed in position and then covered with the child’s own tissues. If an ear lobe is present it is usually transported to the correct location. The 2nd surgery is performed about 3 to 6 months after the first surgery to complete the ear reconstruction.  This generally involves fine tuning the ear and creating a tragus and the illusion of an ear canal.Medpor reconstruction can be done at a younger age since this method is not dependent on the patient having sufficient rib cartilage to make the framework.  The procedure can be performed on children from the age of 3 years old.

If your child is a candidate for atresia repair (to create an ear canal) and you choose to have this surgery, it should be done before the Medpor ear reconstruction.

The most experienced Medpor ear reconstruction surgeons in the world include Dr John Reinisch (United States), Dr Sheryl Lewin (United States) and Dr Thomas Romo (United States).  This method of ear reconstruction is not routinely performed in Australia, but may be available with some ear reconstruction surgeons.  It is best to contact the surgeons directly to discuss this.  Some Australian patients have travelled to the United States to have this procedure.

For more information on Medpor ear reconstruction click HERE.

Contact Us if you would like to read first hand experiences from parents whose children have had this surgery.




Combined Atresia Repair & Medpor Procedure

In January 2008, two doctors from California, USA (Dr Joseph Roberson & Dr John Reinisch) combined to perform the world’s first procedure where Atresia Repair & Medpor ear reconstruction were combined into a single procedure.  Dr Roberson and Dr Reinsich had previously collaborated in the care of hundreds of atresia and microtia cases, however this was the first time the two surgeries had been combined into the one surgical procedure.

This new advance offers patients the advantage of fewer surgical procedures and less travel expenses when treating microtia & atresia.

For more information on this combined procedure, refer to