Department of Plastic Surgery, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Sciennes Road, Edinburgh, UK.
Background: Posterior suturing with postauricular fascial flap otoplasty has previously been shown to be associated with a significantly reduced rate of complications and better aesthetic outcome when compared with the anterior scoring and posterior suturing techniques. This study evaluates the long-term results of this technique.
Material And Methods: A retrospective casenote analysis of all paediatric patients who underwent otoplasty within a four-year period were retrieved. Sixty patients (112 ears) met the inclusion criteria (mean age 8.5 years; range 4 to 14). The perpendicular distance from the mastoid to the helical rim at the Frankfort line was recorded preoperatively and immediately postoperatively. Patients were invited to a follow up clinic where further measurements were taken by two observers. Photographs were evaluated by an independent blinded observer.
Results: The clinical recurrence rate was 4.5%. Thirty patients (57 ears) attended the follow-up clinic (mean 3.9 years since surgery). Mean loss of medialisation was 0.7 mm (6.2%), with loss of medialisation of > or =1 mm seen in 26 ears (46%), and improvement in medialisation of > or =1 mm in 15 ears (26%). Mean visual analogue scores for overall appearance and symmetry were higher at follow-up than at six weeks postoperatively. There was no relationship between measurements or visual analogue scores and duration since surgery.
Conclusions: In conclusion posterior suturing with braided polyester permanent sutures covered with a postauricular fascial flap results in longevity of postoperative appearance and symmetry with low clinical recurrence rates and with excellent patient and parent satisfaction.
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