The International Center for Atresia Microtia Repair

2014.07.18 – Let Them Hear Foundation US Atresia Microtia Conference
July 18-20, 2014 – Westminster, CO

Join us in Colorado!


Friday – Sunday, July 18-20 Westminster, CO – Marriott

Prior conferences have filled, so reserve your spot and make your plans now for a summer vacation in Colorado!

  • Lectures by experts
  • Private appointments
  • Best option treatment plans

All aspects of care will be covered including rib graft, medpor, canal surgery, implantable hearing aids, new and upcoming advances, prosthetics, jaw and facial abnormalities among others.  You may schedule private appointment with all of the experts you wish to see. Companies will be demonstrating different technologies applicable to treatment.  Leave with a plan you understand and are ready to implement for your child.

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Dr. Joseph Roberson
Auditory Development
Dr. Roberson is an Otologist is the CEO and Managing Partner of the California Ear Institute and it’s International Center for Atresia & Microtia Reconstruction and the Founder of Let Them Hear Foundation. Dr. Roberson serves as faculty member and is the former Chief of Otology- Neurotology-Skull Base surgery at Stanford University. He also serves as a consultant for several industry leaders, including Acclarent, Medtronic, Advanced Bionics Corporation and Cochlear Corporation. He maintains an active clinical and surgical practice, and functions as the Fellowship Director of CEI, a program responsible for training surgeons in Otology- Neurotology-Skull Base surgery. Dr. Roberson will explain the human auditory system as it begins development before birth and proceeds through early critical periods of development. Parents will understand the system from formation before birth to complex language development occurring during childhood. Hearing Options for Atresia Options to provide hearing to patients with unilateral or bilateral atresia are numerous. Hearing in nearly every situation is possible. Dr. Roberson will provide an overall option plan including evaluation, therapy and decision process for parents of children with hearing loss due to congenital abnormality of the ear. He will detail the surgical correction of Atresia.

Dr. John Reinisch
Medpor Microtia Reconstruction
Dr. Reinisch is the creator of the Medpor technique of outer ear reconstruction and he will detail his large experience reconstructing the outer ear in children and adults. Parents will understand the advantages and disadvantages of this form of microtia reconstruction compared to other options. Dr. Reinisch is Director of Craniofacial and Pediatric Plastic Surgery at Cedars Sinai Hospital. He is also Professor of Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and former Chairman of Plastic Surgery at USC and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Combined Atresia Microtia (CAM) Reconstruction: Canal and Outer Ear Creation in One Stage Since February of 2008, Drs. Roberson and Reinisch have teamed to perform a combined approach to reconstruction of middle and outer ear abnormalities in a single surgery performed on over 110 patients.

Dr. Steve Schendel
Craniofacial and Jaw Reconstruction for Hemi-Facial Microsomia
Dr. Schendel describes the reconstruction of abnormalities of the jaw and mid-face seen in 40% of patients with Atresia Microtia. He will detail the internal fixation device process (which he invented) to allow jaw lengthening. Dr. Schendel brings his combined Pediatric Plastic Surgery, Craniofacial Surgery and Dental training as former Chair of Pediatric and Adult Plastic Surgery at Stanford University to bear on a challenging, significant problem. Dr. Schendel is now with the CEI Medical Group and is Director of Craniofacial and Pediatric Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Arturo Bonilla
Cartilage Microtia Reconstruction
Dr. Bonilla is the only exclusive pediatric microtia surgeon in the United States utilizing the rib cartilage technique. He is the founder of the Microtia – Congenital Ear Deformity Institute, a world-renowned center for ear reconstruction, headquartered out of San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Bonilla has performed thousands of microtia surgeries and has been instrumental in creating innovative techniques for improving protrusion of the ear for cartilage reconstructions. Dr. Bonilla received his M.D. degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. After medical school, Dr. Bonilla continued surgical training for 7 more years including General Surgery, Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery and finally an additional two-year subspecialty training in Pediatric Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery at the world-renowned Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He has been in practice for 19 years.

Dr. Ron Eavey
Understanding the Causes of Atresia Microtia and Implications for Treatment
Dr. Ron Eavey has performed research in the field of Atresia Microtia for much of his storied career, and he will share our current knowledge / areas of active research / and future treatment possibilities. He also performs surgery for malformed ears using rib graft techniques and has particular expertise with mildly malformed ears that can be repaired without full replacement. Dr. Eavey is Chairman of ENT at Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Geoffrey Ball
Future Implantable Devices for Atresia
Drs. Geoff Ball and Roberson met as young researchers in the middle ear mechanics laboratory at Stanford University in the early 90’s. Dr. Ball went on to invent the Vibrant SoundBridge and currently works with Med-El in Austria. He has other implantable devices on the horizon (such as the Med-El BoneBridge), which is in clinical trials in Europe in adults. Geoff will detail his journey with hearing loss himself as described in his autobiographical book “No More Laughing at the Deaf Boy” and what his work has and will produce for patients with atresia.

Amy Brown, JD
Insurance Coverage: Advocacy at LTHF
At LTHF, Mrs. Brown, along with her colleagues Sheri Byrne-Haber JD and Taylor Hoang JD and a team of law students, appealed private, public and military health insurance denials nationwide resulting in people with hearing loss receiving over $35,000,000 in services. These wins ultimately resulted in insurance companies changing their policies to end discrimination against profoundly deaf individuals.

A typical international conference schedule includes a morning of lectures by Dr. Roberson and Dr. Reinisch covering various topics in atresia and microtia. The areas discussed in these lectures includes but is not limited to:

  • Causes of Atresia & Microtia
  • Audiological testing
  • Child development & Auditory Processing
  • Evaluation process
  • Atresia Repair
  • Outer ear reconstruction, including an in-depth explanation of the Medpor technique and other methods of microtia repair in the United States
  • Hemi-facial microsomia and jaw reconstruction techniques
  • Up-to-date information on the latest research & development

We recommend that both post-operative patients and patients who have not yet undergone surgery attend these conferences to hear the lectures, as new information and insights in the area of atresia and microtia continue to advance. In the afternoon or day following the morning lectures, each attendee of the conference will be scheduled for 10-15 minute appointments with Dr. Roberson and separately with Dr. Reinisch and sometimes other AM team physicians. It is during that time where each person’s individual case is discussed and recommendations are given. These things are recommended to bring to the appointments:

  • CD or films of the CT scan (applicable when >2.5yrs)
  • Past audiology tests
  • Photos of the children if not in attendance

Our goal is that everyone who has the opportunity to attend a conference can walk away feeling well-informed and confident in a plan moving forward. The benefits of the support from interacting with other families who are walking this challenging road of AM is not to be minimized either! It is always a joy for the staff to check in on past patients that have undergone surgery and come back to the conferences to see us year after year. We feel very thankful to have been entrusted with the care of many around the world!