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Versatility of the Posterior Auricular Flap in Partial Ear Reconstruction

Schonauer, Fabrizio M.D., Ph.D.; Vuppalapati, Gunasekar M.Ch.(Plast.); Marlino, Sergio M.D.; Santorelli, Adriano M.D.; Canta, Luigi M.D.; Molea, Guido M.D., Ph.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: October 2010 - Volume 126 - Issue 4 - p 1213-1221
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181ec1f03

Background: The posterior auricular flap alone has always been popular because of its prompt availability, its rich vascularity, and the ease of closing the donor-site defect primarily.

Methods: Fifty-seven patients with partial ear defects covered with posterior auricular flaps during the period between 2002 and 2007 were reviewed. In the authors' series, posterior auricular flaps were harvested based on a simple random vascularization and tailored to reach almost any defect of the ear by a simplified and standardized approach.

Results: The authors propose a simple nomenclature after grouping the flaps according to skin paddle type, pedicle type, pedicle base, flap transfer method, and flap movement; they present a standardized algorithm with which to choose the flap design for a given defect from this group.

Conclusions: The authors contribute three new flap designs to enhance the versatility of the posterior auricular flap. These are the superiorly and inferiorly based twisted island flaps and the posterior auricular propeller flap.

Naples, Italy

From the Department of Plastic Surgery, University Federico II.

Received for publication February 21, 2003; accepted April 1, 2010.

Disclosure:None of the authors has a financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article.

Fabrizio Schonauer, M.D., Ph.D., Via F. Galiani 20, 80122 Naples, Italy,

©2010American Society of Plastic Surgeons