Background: This study evaluates outcome and patient benefit after plastic auricular reconstruction using a porous polyethylene framework and a temporoparietal fascia flap in both pediatric and adult patient collectives.
Methods: Seventy-eight patients were asked to answer validated questionnaires determining the effects of the reconstruction on the patients' health-related quality of life (Glasgow Benefit Inventory or Glasgow Children's Benefit Inventory); Glasgow Benefit Inventory and Glasgow Children's Benefit Inventory scores can range from –100 (maximal adverse effect), through 0 (no effect), to 100 (maximal positive effect). Furthermore, patients were questioned regarding satisfaction, complaints, and complications with the reconstructed ear.
Results: Sixty-five patients (83.3 percent) returned a valid questionnaire. In the adult collective (n = 45), the mean total Glasgow Benefit Inventory score was 21.2 (p < 0.001); 72.7 percent were satisfied with the aesthetic result, and 86.7 percent would again decide in favor of the operation. In the pediatric collective (n = 20), the mean total Glasgow Children's Benefit Inventory score was 27.7 (p < 0.001); 70.0 percent of the parents and 85.0 percent of the children were satisfied with the aesthetic result; 95.0 percent of the parents and 90.0 percent of the children would again decide in favor of the operation. The health-related quality of life was raised in 75.6 percent of the adults and 100 percent of the children. Scars and feel of the reconstructed ear were the main complaints in both collectives. Patients with acquired auricular defects were approximately two times as likely not to be satisfied with the result compared with patients with congenital defects.
Conclusions: Auricular reconstruction using a porous polyethylene framework can significantly increase patients' health-related quality of life, and leads to a high rate of patient satisfaction.