Microsurgical Replantation and Salvage Procedures in Traumatic Ear Amputation


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Abstract

Purpose:The purpose of this study is to present our experience with patients who underwent traumatic ear amputation.Methods:Between January 1988 and April 2002, 10 patients sustained ear amputations. Of these, six patients underwent microvascular replantation (arterial anastomosis only and arterial and venous anastomosis in three patients each), and replantation was attempted in one patient. However, no suitable vessel could be found for the anastomosis, and the amputated ear was treated as a composite graft and buried in a retroauricular pocket. Staged costal cartilage reconstruction was performed in three patients who lost the ear replant after trauma (two patients) or due to infection (one patient).Results:The ear replant survived and showed good cosmetic results in the three patients who underwent arterial and venous anastomoses. The patients who had artery anastomosis only required intrareplant heparin injection (chemical leech) to resolve venous congestion and sustained partial loss of the replanted ear. Secondary procedures were necessary to repair the reconstructions, including an advancement, temporoparietal fascia, or retroauricular flap. Those who underwent staged ear reconstruction had late ear deformities.Conclusion:Microvascular replantation is the best method for reattaching an amputated ear, giving excellent esthetic results. If only arterial anastomosis is performed, a chemical leech is an option for decompressing the venous congestion. In those patients without a suitable vessel for microanastomosis, nonmicrosurgical methods are suggested, such as a temporoparietal fascia flap, retroauricular pocket procedure, or staged-costal cartilage reconstruction, depending on the ear defect.

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