Reconstructive Surgery of Auricular Defects: An Overview




Context: Despite the ongoing advances in surgical procedures and promising progress in bioengineering techniques, auricular reconstruction remains a significant challenge in plastic surgery. There are different causes for acquired auricular defects, including trauma, tumor ablation and burns. The management options for upper, middle and lower third auricular defects are briefly reviewed in the current paper. Evidence Acquisition: Original research papers investigating the plastic surgeons, otolaryngologists and maxillofacial surgeons in approaching the complicated issue of auricular reconstruction published from January 1995 to December 2014 were aggregated and used in the current study. Results: Utilizing autologous stem cell populations to treat craniofacial defects is a promising field of ongoing investigations. Studies show that cartilage stem/progenitor cells (CSPCs) are highly chondrogenic and can produce elastic reconstructive material with long-term tissue restoration. Conclusions: Auricular reconstruction surgery is a challenging plastic procedure that requires great expertise and expert knowledge of the various techniques available. Novel techniques in the fields of reconstructive bioengineering and regenerative medicine are promising but further research is required before widespread clinical application.