Correction of Congenital Microtia Using the Tissue Expander

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We attempted auricular reconstruction using Ra-dovan-type inflatable silicone expanders in six children and one adult, with the complete hypoplastic, the conchal remnant, and constricted type of microtia. Ear frameworks, including the helix, anthelix, concha, and tragus, were prepared using autologous rib cartilage. Based on the surface area of the normal adult auricle, the silicone expander was tentatively shaped and sized into a rotated semiellipse and expanded with 70 cc saline.

Auricular reconstruction on the framework was completed at the time of insertion in four of the seven patients, requiring no elevation of the ear. The reconstructed auricle was satisfactory in both color and texture and had nearly normal sensation. Mild complications were noted in three of the seven patients. However, no resorption of the inserted rib cartilage has been observed 14 months to 2 years and 5 months after the operation. Slight shrinkage of the expanded skin was noted in each patient.

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