Ear reconstruction has developed from the sole plastic reconstruction of the auricle to a more complex procedure that includes the functional rehabilitation of hearing. For the patient's benefit the number of surgeries could be reduced to two or three while still maintaining excellent results. This development is due to improvements in surgical procedures as well as technical developments such as bone-anchored hearing aids or cochlear implants.
The authors of this volume have considered different aspects of reconstruction of severe ear malformation. Developments in surgery and the choice of prosthetic materials are closely examined, and the benefits of alloplastic materials in comparison to autologous cartilage are discussed. Cosmetic outcomes are not described in isolation, but with reference to improvements in patients' hearing, particularly in the context of bone-anchored and implantable hearing aids. Related fields, such as tissue engineering, hold vast untapped potential for this area. The impact they will have in the future is discussed in detail, helping to paint a picture of treatment options that will become available to professionals.