Atlanta Ear Reconstruction Surgeon Dr. Mark Mitchell Jones Reaches Milestone with Microtia Patients

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Earlier this year, Dr. Mark Mitchell Jones of Atlanta Plastic Surgery Associates reached a milestone of completing 300 microtia repair procedures.

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Parents should find someone who is not only experienced in carving the cartilage and designing the new ear, but also someone who can do it quickly, efficiently, and very effectively.

The congenital birth defect known as Microtia (from the Latin words micro and otia, meaning little ear) affects 1 in 7,500 births. The occurrence of this defect is higher in Asian and Hispanic ethnicities than in Caucasians and African Americans.

Parents of children born with microtia or other congenital deformities such as cleft palate are often overwhelmed and unsure of where to turn for help for their children. The stigma of a birth defect is hard for parents and for the child once they become aware that they are “different.” It’s important to find a surgeon who is highly skilled, trained, and, most importantly, experienced.

In 2012, Dr. Mark Mitchell Jones, a double board certified surgeon, reached an impressive milestone of completing 300 microtia repair procedures. Microtia repair is a highly specialized and complex surgical reconstruction process that gives children a normal-looking and functional outer ear.

“While there are several different methods for microtia repair, including artificial implants, plastic glue-on or snap-on ears, I believe that the time tested, tried and true sculpted rib graft technique is the best. It has the advantage of using one’s own natural tissue and is less susceptible to infection than an artificial ear,” explained Dr. Jones.

Another reason that the rib graft technique is considered the gold standard in ear reconstruction is the advantage it has with hearing. Most otologists will not operate on the hearing part of an ear with a synthetic ear implant because of the added complications.

Dr. Jones has also developed several improvements to the best ear reconstruction techniques. These include the Integrated Cartilage Graft (ICG), the Wrap-Around Earlobe (WAE), the Juxtaposition Ear (JE), and the Bespoke Ear (BE).

The most important decision that parent of a child with microtia can make is their choice of surgeon. The first microtia repair surgery is the best chance to get the highest quality results. If it becomes necessary to go to a second surgeon to fix a poorly constructed ear, you will need a great doctor with superior skills to focus on correcting the first surgery before beginning to create the optimal ear.

“Parents should find someone who is not only experienced in carving the cartilage and designing the new ear, but also someone who can do it quickly, efficiently, and very effectively. Creating an ear from rib cartilage is a very precise, exacting process. It takes a high level of surgical skill combined with a refined sense of aesthetics to create a natural-looking and functional outer ear,” said Dr. Jones.

Rib graft cartilage surgery is done in four stages, but only the first stage (rib graft procedure) requires a hospital stay. The remaining stages are handled on an outpatient basis and they are used to create the earlobe, the outer canal, and refining of the ear. Because the entire process, including healing, can take anywhere from nine to twelve months, most parents prefer to start before school begins.

As an Atlanta plastic surgeon that is also certified in Otolaryngology, Dr. Jones is uniquely qualified to perform this intricate and delicate surgical procedure. He is a nationally recognized as an authority on the outer ear and can perform ear reconstruction with compromising the workings of the inner ear.

“The challenges of this demanding surgery, the extreme satisfaction I receive from achieving great results, and the children especially make this an amazing job. The thank you notes, the hugs, and the stories about their new ears - what more could a doctor ask for to keep coming up with ever better ways of doing my job?” said Dr. Jones.

Completing over 300 microtia repair cases is a proud achievement for Dr. Jones and the staff at Atlanta Plastic Surgery Specialists. His years of training and experience have given him the skills to help these children grow up without the disfigurement of a congenital birth defect and the resulting social stigma.

About Dr. Jones

Dr. Jones earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia after obtaining a Bachelor’s degree from Emory University in Chemistry and Pre-Med. He attended the University of Canterbury in New Zealand for Medical Business Administration and Oxford University in England, where he obtained an additional Bachelor's and Master’s degree in Medical Physiology and Research. Dr. Jones returned to the U.S. and did his residency at Johns Hopkins University in ENT and Facial Plastic Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Jones completed a Fulbright Fellowship in plastic surgery in Paris, France and completed a second residency in plastic surgery at Stanford University.

Dr. Jones has the unique distinction of holding dual board certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat; ENT) and over 20 years of experience. This makes him uniquely qualified to not only enhance the aesthetic, but also the natural functionality of the body.

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