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Doctors fixing a rare condition, one surgery at a time

There are only a few specialists in microtia-deformation (the pinna (external ear) is underdeveloped)— who are able to restore the hearing of patients together with the ear reconstruction. One ofthese doctors is Ashesh Bhumkar from Mumbai.
Microtia is a genetic disease affecting one of about 10 000-12 000 births. It can leave these children with this defect for all their life. It is a rare genetic condition, which affects the hearing of the patient to a large extent.
Few people know that microtia can be completely treated

Times ahead of Microtia Day, which is observed on November 9, Ashesh Bhumkar said to Hindustam Times: "This condition is a deformity of the ear, in particular of the external ear and at the same time it affects the hearing of the patient. What is more, few people know that microtia can be fully treated by an ENT surgeon. However, not many surgeons opt to train for this surgery as it is complex. There are hardly five such surgeons, including me, in the world who offer this kind of surgery".

Bhumkar is the only Indian to have been chosen as a founder of the international society for auricular reconstruction (ISAR), a body established to promote excellence in all facets of auricular reconstruction.
"There is no particular cause behind this condition and this genetic disease doesn't affect children who already suffer from it," - said Bhumkar who is a postgraduate of B. J. Medical College in Pune.

Most microtia patients often hide their condition by growing their hair and letting it lose over their ears.

"In my 30 years of experience we have carried out more than such 1000 surgeries worldwide. In Pune we have operated upon more than 100 patients who have got their hearing back along with an ear because of the corrective surgery with us," said Bhumkar.
Ashesh Bhumkar
ENT surgeon, Mumbai, India
The surgery is extremely complex in nature and earlier was done in 3 to 5 stages

However, nowadays, thanks to advanced medicine and equipment such surgeries can be carried out in one procedure, where hearing improvement along with microtia reconstruction is provided to the patient.

Need more surgeons

Ashesh Bhumkar is one of the few surgeons who provide this treatment, he has visited many countries to treat microtia patients there.

"I have travelled to many countries including Kazakhstan, Russia, Saudi Arabia to perform these surgeries. We believe that more doctors should train for this surgery as there are so many microtia patients worldwide who need our help," said Bhumkar
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