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Autologous Ear Reconstruction for Microtia Does Not Result in Loss of Cutaneous Sensitivity

Denadai, Rafael, M.D.; Raposo-Amaral, Cassio Eduardo, M.D., Ph.D.; Zanco, Guilherme Luis, M.D.; Raposo- Amaral, Cesar Augusto, M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: April 2019 - Volume 143 - Issue 4 - p 808e-819e
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000005485
Pediatric/Craniofacial: Original Articles

Background: Cutaneous sensitivity of microtia reconstruction has been sparsely documented. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether there is a loss of cutaneous sensitivity following two-stage autologous ear reconstruction for unilateral microtia.

Methods: A prospective study was performed including unilateral microtia patients who underwent two-stage autologous ear reconstruction performed by a single plastic surgeon between 2011 and 2016. Standardized sensory testing (i.e., temperature discrimination and Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments) was executed at 11 predefined anatomical points of the affected and unaffected ears preoperatively and at 6 and 12 months postoperatively.

Results: Thirty-eight patients were included. Affected and unaffected sides presented similar (all p > 0.05) preoperative cutaneous sensitivity. Most (72.7 percent) of the tested points showed (all p < 0.05) preservation or recovery of cutaneous sensitivity at 12 months postoperatively. When comparing the reconstructed ears with the unaffected ears, there was no significant difference (all p > 0.05) in most (72.7 percent) of the tested points, except (all p < 0.05) at those points involving the postauricular sulcus.

Conclusion: There is a temporary cutaneous sensitivity loss after a two-stage autologous microtia reconstruction, which returned to similar preoperative sensitivity at 12-month follow-up, except in the postauricular sulcus.


Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil

From the Institute of Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery, SOBRAPAR Hospital.

Received for publication March 17, 2018; accepted July 31, 2018.

Presented at the 54th Brazilian Congress of Plastic Surgery, in Florianopolis, Brazil, November 15 through 18, 2017, and awarded the Victor Spina Prize for best craniofacial surgery paper.

Disclosure:None of the authors has a financial interest in any of the products or devices mentioned in this article. There are no conflicts of interest to disclose, and no funding was received for this work.

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Cesar Augusto Raposo-Amaral, M.D., Institute of Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery, SOBRAPAR Hospital, Av. Adolpho Lutz, 100, Caixa Postal 6028, Campinas, São Paulo 13084-880, Brazil,, Instagram: @cesarraposoamaral

Copyright © 2019 by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons