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Clinical Note
March 1998

The Use of 3-Dimensional Models in Auricular Reconstruction

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of California, Irvine, Medical Center, Orange. Dr Dugan is deceased.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1998;124(3):335-338. doi:10.1001/archotol.124.3.335

Reconstruction of the microtic auricle is a difficult process requiring considerable experience and dedication to detail. It is a multistage proposition requiring the talents of both the reconstructive surgeon and the otologic surgeon. Reconstruction of the external ear usually precedes the reconstruction of the middle ear. Often, a template is used by the reconstructive surgeon to aid in this complicated process. Traditionally, templates used by the reconstructive surgeon have been 2 dimensional (usually x-ray paper) and made from the opposite normal ear or another normal ear in cases of bilateral microtia. Use of a 2-dimensional model only provides a rough estimate of the cartilage framework needed. Considerable experience is therefore needed to get this cartilage framework "just right." We have developed a number of 3-dimensional synthetic templates to aid in the creation of an accurate cartilage framework implant. These templates serve as a more accurate guide in the complex cartilage carving and assembly process. The use of 3-dimensional templates has improved our technical reconstructive results in a small number of patients. We present these results and propose future application of these ideas.

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