There is controversy over the optimal timing of microtia reconstruction. The eighth costal cartilage, which is used to shape the helix framework, can be one of the key factors determining surgical timing of microtia reconstruction. Nevertheless, it is difficult to predict the length of the eighth costal cartilage preoperatively. The aim of the present study was to discuss different methods of fabricating cartilaginous ear framework in children with microtia according to different lengths of the eighth costal cartilage.
Based on the actual length of the eighth costal cartilage in microtia children, there are 2 methods to fabricate auricular framework. In method I, the eighth costal cartilage was divided into 2 parts. Part A was used to fashion the helix, while part B was used to protrude the antihelix, superior, and inferior crus. The seventh rib was used to form the main body and the sixth rib was used to form the base of the framework. In method II, the seventh costal cartilage was used to fashion the helix and extrude the antihelix, superior, and inferior crus as method I did. The sixth rib was used to form the main body and the eighth rib was used to form the base of the framework.
A total of 68 microtia children underwent auricular reconstruction adopting the modified techniques between 2015 and 2016. The great majority of patients (66 patients) were satisfied with the reconstructed ears. Two patients were relatively satisfied with the reconstructed ears. Three cases have been selected to illustrate the favorable result achieved. They revealed that the helix, antihelix, superior crus, and inferior crus all appeared distinct and presented a favorable result of the contour of the reconstructed auricle.
Based on different lengths of eighth costal cartilage in children, different methods of fabricating ear framework make full use of the autogenous costal cartilage and elevate anatomical details, demonstrating that personalized treatment is necessary.
*Department of Burn and Plastic Surgery, Binzhou Medical University Hospital, Binzhou
†Department of Burns and Plastic Surgery, Second Affiliated Hospital of Shandong University Medical College, Jinan, China.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Zhenzhong Liu, PhD, Department of Burns and Plastic Surgery, Second Affiliated Hospital of Shandong University Medical College, 247 Beiyuan Road, Jinan, Shandong Province, China; E-mail: email@example.com
Received 21 May, 2018
Accepted 4 November, 2018
The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Second Affiliated Hospital of Shandong University Medical College.
The authors report no conflicts of interest.