Congenital Aural Atresia

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Abstract

Congenital aural atresia is a spectrum of ear deformities present at birth that involves some degree of failure of the development of the external auditory canal. This malformation may be associated with other congenital anomalies; it occurs as a result of abnormal development of the first and second branchial arches and the first branchial cleft and most often occurs sporadically, although the disease may be manifested in different syndromes. Congenital aural atresia is considered one of the most difficult and challenging surgeries for the otologic surgeon. The goals of atresia surgery are to restore functional hearing, preferably without the requirement of a hearing aid, and to reconstruct a patent, infection-free external auditory canal. The repair is usually done at the age of 6 years, so children with bilateral atresia may need hearing amplification in the first few weeks of life until the age at surgery. To optimize the surgical outcome, careful audiological and radiological evaluation of the patient should be performed preoperatively. Also, postoperative frequent packing and regular follow-up are mandatory to avoid restenosis and infection of the newly created canal. With careful intraoperative dissection and regular follow-up, complications of surgery can be avoided.

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