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Arch Hand Microsurg > Volume 25(1); 2016 > Article
Archives of Hand and Microsurgery 2016;25(1):1-6.
Published online May 30, 2016.
The External Auricular Reconstruction with Inferior Based Retroauricular Flap Including the Posterior Auricular Artery
Jong Hwan Choi, and Sae Hwi Ki1,*
1Department of Plastic Surgery, Inha University Hospital, Incheon, Korea.
2Department of Plastic Surgery, Inha University School of Medicine, Incheon, Korea.
Received: 3 December 2015   • Revised: 30 December 2015   • Accepted: 9 January 2016


The external ear is a common area of trauma on the body prone to exposure of ultraviolet light, which can lead to skin cancer. Thus, variable techniques have been developed and used for reconstruction of the external ear. The aim of this study is to review the surgical method, its area of application, as well as advantages and pitfalls of reconstruction of the external ear with inferior based retroauricular flaps.

Materials and Methods:

Eight patients underwent external ear reconstruction with inferior based retroauricular flap for external ear defects in our institute from September 2012 to June 2015. According to the area of the defect, patients were classified as middle 1/3 (n=4), inferior 1/3 (n=2), superior auroculo-cephalic sulcus (n=1), and external auditory canal (n=1).


All of the flaps survived the operation and there was no marginal necrosis. Mean size of the defect was 2.8×1.8 cm and mean size of the retroauricular flap was 5×2 cm. For insetting of the flap, a subcutaneous tunneling technique was used in 6 cases and rotation without subcutaneous tunneling was used in 2 cases. Transient paresthesia occurred in 3 cases. Two cases recovered within 3 months but one case did not recover until 6 months.


The inferior based retroauricular flap is an available technique in external ear reconstruction with one stage operation.

Key Words: Posterior auricular flap, Posterior auricular artery, Ear reconstruction

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