Surgical Reconstruction of Traumatic Partial Ear Defects Based on a Novel Classification of Defect Sizes and Surrounding Skin Conditions

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



Although a standard classification system and corresponding reconstruction methods are well described for microtia, establishing a classification system and corresponding surgical strategies for traumatic ear defects is difficult because the size, shape, and local skin conditions of each defect differ considerably. In this article, the authors describe a useful new classification system and corresponding surgical approaches.


Ear defects were classified into four types according to defect size and surrounding skin conditions. Defects in which the postauricular skin is of good quality are classified as types I, II, and III. The rest are type IV defects. Four ears (type I defects) were reconstructed using conchal cartilage and posterior auricular flaps. In 51 ears, costal cartilage and posterior auricular flaps were used for single-stage (type II defects, n = 31) or two-stage (type III defects, n = 20) reconstructions. In five instances of severe posterior auricular cutaneous scarring (type IV defects), temporoparietal fascial flaps were created to cover costal cartilage frameworks.


Sixty subjects with traumatic partial ear defects were followed for 6 months to 6 years. Most (n = 55) were satisfied with their results. Two patients complained of an unnatural junction between the graft framework and residual ear stump. One was dissatisfied with the reduced ear size, caused by improper fixation and skin flap contraction. Another developed minor framework exposure because of skin necrosis, which healed with conservative management.


Using our new classification system for partial traumatic ear defects based on defect size and contiguous skin condition, the corresponding surgical repair approach was applied consistently, yielding acceptable results and few complications.


Therapeutic, IV.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles