Microvascular Free Transfer of A Retroauricular Flap



Microvascular Free Transfer of A Retroauricular Flap


S. KOBAYASHI





A skin flap from the retroauricular area can be elevated on the posterior auricular vessels. The flap provides thin skin that matches facial skin in color and texture, with minimal donor-site deformities, and with the donor site easily hidden by hair. This flap has not been too widely used as a free flap, because the involved vessels are sometimes too small.




ANATOMY

The retroauricular mastoid skin is supplied mainly by the posterior auricular artery (PA). This vessel usually branches off from the external carotid artery, and it ascends between the parotid gland and the styloid process of the temporal bone, to the groove between the cartilage of the auricle and the mastoid process. The PA supplies the skin located in the posterior aspect of the auricle. The posterior auricular vein does not always run along with the artery; instead, it may be located in a more superficial and posterior position vis-à-vis the artery. Anatomic variations of the posterior auricular vessels have been reported in the literature (4,6,7). The diameter of these vessels is sometimes too narrow for use in free-flap transfer (Fig. 64.1).

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Jun 26, 2016 | Posted by in General Surgery | Comments Off on Microvascular Free Transfer of A Retroauricular Flap
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