Auricular reconstruction in patients with congenital microtia permits craniofacial balance and harmony, especially in patients with bilateral microtia. However, published techniques usually require skin grafting, which can lead to color mismatch and visible scarring. Some surgeons prefer to reconstruct the auricle of each side separately, which prolongs the complete cycle of surgery and increases suffering of the patient. In this study, we introduce a modified technique using single expanded flaps without skin grafting to achieve simultaneous bilateral auricular reconstruction.
Between January 2012 and January 2017, a total of 54 patients with bilateral microtia underwent auricular reconstruction with expanded single flaps. Simultaneous bilateral auricular reconstruction was accomplished through 3 surgical stages. In the first stage, bilateral postauricular skin was expanded using 2 kidney-shaped tissue expanders. In the second stage, bilateral rib cartilage was harvested using minimal incisions, allowing 2 modified 3-layer frameworks to be fabricated. Each framework was then inserted into the pocket through the same incision with subsequent closure using 2-layer suture. In the third stage, the reconstructed ears were further trimmed, if necessary, and the lobules and tragus reconstructed. All the patients were followed up for 6 to 24 months.
During follow-up, patients were satisfied with surgical outcome in terms of size, shape, location, detailing, and symmetry of the bilateral ears in more than 50 cases. Only 4 demonstrated postoperative complications. No skin necrosis, exposure of cartilage, or infection was observed or postoperative chest deformities.
Simultaneous bilateral auricular reconstruction using single expanded flaps combined with a modified 3-layer cartilage framework is an effective technique for patients with bilateral microtia.