Aural atresia describes an absence of the external ear canal. While the inner ear and auditory nerve are often completely normal, there is a high incidence of malformation of the external ear and middle ear as well. A narrowed ear canal (i.e. one where the eardrum can be viewed, but the canal is narrower than normal) is sometimes referred to as a stenotic canal, or canal stenosis.
Aural atresia most commonly effects just one ear (unilateral aural atresia), but can occur both ears (bilateral aural atresia).
The surgery to create a normal sized ear canal from either a stenotic canal or complete aural atresia is known as an “atresia repair” and is sometimes also referred to as a canalplasty.