Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 150-152

Maintenance of the anatomic contours in auricular reconstruction: The button technique

1 Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
2 AboutSkin Dermatology and DermSurgery, University of California, Denver, Colorado; Irvine, California; University of Colorado Denver, Colorado, USA

Correspondence Address:
Joel L Cohen
AboutSkin Dermatology and DermSurgery, 5340 South Quebec Street, Suite 300, Greenwood Village, Denver, Colorado 80111
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JCAS.JCAS_71_18

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Background and Objective: Reconstructing the contours of the auricle is a unique challenge. Various bolster techniques have been tried to help prevent complications such as hematoma, seroma, and morbidity. Here, we describe a simple technique using a button to maintain the natural ear contour when it is at risk of a poor aesthetic outcome. Materials and Methods: A 77-year-old man underwent resection of a squamous cell carcinoma of the postauricular skin on the right ear, which involved the helical margin. A skin graft was chosen to close the defect. However, on initial inspection of the repair, buckling of the scaphoid fossa, collapse of the antihelical fold, and notching of the helix were observed. When these buckling changes persisted even after the anesthesia-related swelling resolved the following day, a button bolster was placed for 2.5 weeks to provide support for the cartilage. Results: Standardized digital imaging revealed maintenance of the original contours and sulci of the ear with an excellent cosmetic result. Conclusion: Recreation of the auricular contours is critical for an excellent cosmetic outcome. Using a button bolster is worth considering as it is of low cost, can easily fit into the natural ear contours, and can provide a rigid structure to ensure maintenance of the ear shape.

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