Retroauricular Island Flap for Eye Socket Reconstruction

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Abstract

This paper describes the use of a flap which is the random portion of an island flap based on superficial temporal vessels. The flap has three distinct anatomic portions: (1) the cutaneous portion, which includes the postauricular skin, (2) the triangular deepithelialized scalp and fascia above the ear, which augments random-pattern blood circulation to the cutaneous portion, and (3) the superficial temporal fascia encompassing the vascular pedicle, which is dissected down to the upper pole of the parotid gland and unfolded using a cutback incision between the vascular pedicle and the second portion of the flap in order to increase the reach of the cutaneous portion.

The flap has been successfully used in eight patients for reconstruction of missing or contracted eye sockets. In two patients, inconsequential superficial loss of the distal portion of the distal flap was observed. This flap can also be used for reconstruction of the external face, eyelid, and palate as well as soft-tissue augmentation.

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