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Salvage of a Costochondral Graft for Microtia After Postoperative Infection

Driscoll, Daniel N. MD*; Walker, Marc E. MD, MBA; D’Achille, Julian MD

doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e318255a42d
Head and Neck Surgery

Costochondral grafts have been the gold standard for ear reconstruction in cases of microtia repair for decades. Microtia repair has been traditionally associated with a low complication rate, yet little exists in the literature regarding the management of complications when they do occur. Postoperative infections of costochondral grafts have traditionally resulted in complete graft loss, necessitating additional surgery or leaving the patient with continued physical disfigurement and the accompanying psychological and emotional distress.

The authors wish to present a case report demonstrating the treatment of a fulminant postoperative infection of a costochondral graft and its cutaneous pocket in a 16-year-old male patient with microtia. In this report, we discuss the successful treatment of the infection and 5 years of follow-up demonstrating the complete salvage of the costochondral construct. This is the first case report on the successful treatment and salvage of an infected costochondral graft in microtia repair.

From the *Shriner’s Hospital for Children, Boston, MA; †Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; and ‡Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA.

Received January 2, 2012, and accepted for publication, after revision, March 14, 2012.

Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: none declared.

Reprints: Daniel N. Driscoll, MD, Department of Plastic Surgery, Shriner’s Hospital for Children, 51 Blossom St, Boston, MA 02114. E-mail:

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins