Ear reconstruction with osseointegrated prosthetic implants is a well-established method of reconstruction after resection of skin malignancies on the external ear. There is limited literature reporting technique, outcomes, and patient satisfaction.Methods
We evaluated our outcomes over a 5-year period looking at osseointegrated prosthetic reconstruction after auriculectomy for external ear skin malignancies. We report demographics, disease characteristics, technique, and complications. The patients were surveyed looking at 6 domains: satisfaction, stability, comfort, ease of use, level of self-consciousness, and preoperative education.Results
Of the 21 patients included in the study, 14 (67%) were treated for invasive melanoma (Breslow depth, >0.8mm), 4 (19%) for squamous cell carcinoma, 2 (10%) for basal cell carcinoma, and 1 (5%) for an atypical fibroxanthoma. Complications rates were low. There were no cases of infection, hematoma, or bleeding. In 2 patients (9.5%), 1 of the 3 implants failed to osseointegrate and was removed, but the prosthesis was able to be secured with the remaining 2 posts. There were 3 cases (14%) of delayed healing and 1 with excessive granulation tissue growth. Survey results showed high satisfaction in all measured domains.Conclusions
In cases of skin malignancy requiring total or subtotal auriculectomy, prosthetic ear reconstruction with osseointegrated implants is a good alternative to reconstruction with autologous tissue. Our experience demonstrates good outcomes and with low complication rates and high patient satisfaction.