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J Korean Cleft Palate-Craniofac Assoc. 2009 Oct;10(2):127-130. Korean. Case Report.
Ha KY , Kim BY , Kim HJ , Kim TY .
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Bundang Jesaeng General Hospital, Seongnam-si, Korea.

PURPOSE: In an amputated auricle, a microvascular anastomosis is the best treatment of choice. But, the neartotally amputated auricle which is connected by very narrow tissue pedicle to the head, can survive by simple attachment without a microvascular anastomosis owing to the rich vascular network through the superficial temporal artery and posterior auricular artery. In cases of venous congestion resulting from a lack of vein anastomosis, medical leeches (Hirudo medicinalis) can solve the problem. We are reporting the case of a 6-year-old boy who had a neartotally amputated auricle with successful results by simple closure and medical leech treatment without a microvascular anastomosis. METHODS: A 6-year-old male patient had an left auricular injury by an escalator accident. The left auricle was neartotally amputated from the temporal head with connection only by very narrow skin and subcutaneous pedicle(about 1cm in width) at the helical root of upper and anterior part of auricle. Marginal bleeding from the avulsed auricle was noted and the arterial blood was supplied from a branch of upper auricular branch of the superficial temporal artery. The auricle was repaired by simple closure including cartilage and skin without any vascular anastomosis. After simple closure, the auricle showed good circulation with pink color. But on the 2nd day after the operation, there was a venous congestion with severe swelling, which resulted in a purplish colored auricle. The venous congestion disappeared after using medical leeches by the 5th day after the operation. RESULTS: The repaired auricle showed aesthetically and functionally satisfactory result with normal development at the 9 months follow-up check after the operation. CONCLUSION: In cases of neartotally amputated auricles of children or crushing injury in which microsurgery is difficult, we can try simple closure with the use of medical leeches in treating a of venous congestion for a successful result.

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