Reconstruction of acquired partial external auricular defects is one of the most challenging procedures in plastic surgery. Acquired segmental defects of the external ear may be due to trauma, burn, previous surgery, or infection. Aim: 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 post auricular flaps.
Materials and Methods: 24 patients with acquired partial defects of external ear were taken up for the study. The defects were classified as upper, middle and lower third defects according to the area of involvement of external ear. All these patients were treated with post auricular flap of different sizes.
Results: 8 patients had upper third and 16 patients had middle third defects of the external ear. These defects were due to road traffic accidents in 18 patients (75%) and the remaining were due to human bites (25%). Most of these patients were under the influence of alcohol at the time of injury. The symmetry of the reconstructed ears was satisfactory, and the cosmetic appearance was acceptable for 18 patients. Three patients had marginal necrosis of the flap and required revision procedures. One patient had infection and graft loss in the donor area.
Conclusions: The post auricular flap is an ideal reconstructive option for partial acquired defects of the external ear because of its texture, matching colour, rich blood supply and proximity to the defect