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Why was my relative's son born without an ear?

Q: A newly born male baby of my relative has no ear on the right side. Instead there’s a small hole. Please tell the cause and treatment for this.

A:This condition is called Anotia. During the 40 weeks of gestation inside the mothers womb, the baby passes through various stages. Each organ of the body develops at different times. If any defect occurs at a particular period, all the organs developing at that particular period will develop wrongly. The plan must be to:

  1. Take the child to a paediatrician. He will specifically look for any associated anomaly. This is a priority.
  2. The combined hearing of both the ears can be tested even at this stage. Conclusive assessment of the hearing of the individual ears separately, at this age, may not be possible. However, it is not necessary at present.
  3. After assessing the structural extent of the defect in the ear, the ear lobe and the canal can be reconstructed and reshaped. This correction will be done in stages over a period of time. Plastic surgeons and some ENT surgeons have the experience and the skill to do this.

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