Superior Pedicle Retroauricular Island Flap for Ear and Temporal Region Reconstruction: Anatomic Investigation and 52 Cases Series

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On the basis of a previously published anatomic study on the superior auricular artery (SAA) and on a series of 52 consecutive cases, the authors propose a new superior pedicle retroauricular island flap (SP-RIF) for defects of the upper half of the ear and for temporal region or superficial helical defects.


Twenty five auricular regions were dissected after colored latex injection in the carotid artery of 13 fresh cadavers to investigate the SAA. A SP-RIF was used in 52 consecutive cases after tumor excision. In 51 cases, the defect involved the upper half of the ear. In one case, the defect was in the temporal region.


The SAA originates either from the superficial temporal artery (44%) or from its parietal branch (56%). Length, caliber, and course have been assessed. Esthetic results of the reconstruction were excellent. There were no major complications in this series. No sequelae at the donor site were recorded.


The SP-RIF can be considered as a first choice option to repair nonmarginal losses of substance of the upper half of the ear. Because of its wide arc of rotation, it can also be used for superficial marginal defects of the helix and in selected cases of temporal region defects.

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