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Expansion Method in Secondary Total Ear Reconstruction for Undesirable Reconstructed Ear

Liu, Tun MD; Hu, Jintian MD; Zhou, Xu MD; Zhang, Qingguo MD

doi: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000000285
Clinical Articles

Background: Ear reconstruction by autologous costal cartilage grafting is the most widely applied technique with fewer complications. However, undesirable ear reconstruction brings more problems to plastic surgeons. Some authors resort to free flap or osseointegration technique with prosthetic ear. In this article, we introduce a secondary total ear reconstruction with expanded skin flap method.

Methods: From July 2010 to April 2012, 7 cases of undesirable ear reconstruction were repaired by tissue expansion method. Procedures including removal of previous cartilage framework, soft tissue expander insertion, and second stage of cartilage framework insertion were performed to each case regarding their local conditions.

Results: The follow-up time ranged from 6 months to 2.5 years. All of the cases recovered well with good 3-dimensional forms, symmetrical auriculocephalic angle, and stable fixation.

Conclusions: All these evidence showed that this novel expansion method is safe, stable, and less traumatic for secondary total ear reconstruction. With sufficient expanded skin flap and refabricated cartilage framework, lifelike appearance of reconstructed ear could be acquired without causing additional injury.

From the Department of Ear Reconstruction, Plastic Surgery Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, People’s Republic of China.

Received May 3, 2014, and accepted for publication, after revision, May 10, 2014.

Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: none declared.

Tun Liu and Jintian Hu contributed equally to this work.

Reprints: Qingguo Zhang, MD, Department of Ear Reconstruction, Plastic Surgery Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, No. 33 Ba-Da-Chu Rd, Shi Jing Shan District, Beijing 100144, People’s Republic of China. E-mail:

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins