Vascular supply of the subcutaneous pedicle of Nagata's method in microtia reconstruction

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Nagata's method is a two-stage method for total ear reconstruction in patients with microtia. In the first stage of this procedure, mastoid flap and posterior lobule flap are elevated with a subcutaneous pedicle. However, contribution to the vascular supply by this pedicle has been controversial. We investigated the presence or absence of apparent vessels in the subcutaneous pedicle in 14 primary cases of microtia in the first stage operation. In all cases some vessels were included in the pedicle. In lobular and small concha type microtia, the vessels originated from the parotid fascia or aponeurotic tissue behind the remnant cartilage. In concha type microtia, apparent vessels could be preserved by including the perichondrium of the conchal cartilage. These findings suggest that the mastoid and posterior lobule flaps or W-shaped flap in Nagata's first stage operation are actually the perforator-based flaps. The source vessel of the perforators seemed to be the posterior auricular artery because of its location although further dissection was not performed in order not to damage the vascular supply. The presence of the vessels can augment the blood supply of not only W-shaped flaps but also the skin flap cephalad to them. By confirming the preservation of the perforators in the subcutaneous pedicle the surgeon may be able to trim the covering skin more safely. © 2004 The British Association of Plastic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.




Ishikura, N., Kawakami, S., Yoshida, J., & Shimada, K. (2004). Vascular supply of the subcutaneous pedicle of Nagata’s method in microtia reconstruction. British Journal of Plastic Surgery, 57(8), 780–784.

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