The aims of this study were to describe and evaluate the effectiveness of combined flaps, a modification of the Nagata technique, for providing a reasonable projection for reconstructed auricles.
The authors modified the Nagata method for covering the cartilage block by introducing a new combined flap technique, including the temporoparietal skin flap and retroauricular flap. The authors compared the shape, size, and position of the reconstructed ear to the opposite ear, and we evaluated postoperative complications and patient satisfaction levels. They verified the effectiveness of the combined flap by assessing flap necrosis, skin color, thickness, hair in the auricular area, and scars.
A total of 38 consecutive patients (39 ears) with microtia, aged 6 to 34 years, underwent reconstruction using the modified method and were followed up for 33.6 months on average. The reconstructed auricle’s shape was well defined, with 41.0% having good and 15.4% having excellent results. Most cases achieved good and acceptable levels in size, position, medial longitudinal axis angle, and auriculocephalic angles, and 79.9% of patients/their families were satisfied. The authors observed no cases of flap necrosis or hypertrophic scarring, and there were low rates of flap complications, such as unmatched skin color (7.7%), unacceptable thickness (5.1%), or hair and stretch marks (10.3%).
The modified method’s reconstructed ear achieved stable projection, symmetric appearance, and obvious anatomical landmarks with high patient satisfaction. The combined flap method showed certain advantages: high survival rate, less skin contrast, no hypertrophic scars, and fewer complications.
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