A STUDY OF THERMAL INJURIES OF EXTERNAL EAR IN A TERTIARY CARE CENTER
External ear reconstruction represents an extremely challenging problem to plastic surgeons. It demands a great sense of art to sculpt the ear with its exact size, contour and proposition and large amount of knowledge to recognize and use various surgical methods to deal with it.
Aim: Present study of thermal injury of external ear has been done to study the epidemiology of thermal injury of external ear and to formulate a systemic approach to their management and reconstruction.
Material and Methods: This study is a prospective study of thermal injuries of the external ear in the Department of surgery during the period of January 2012 to October 2014.
Results: 53 cases of thermal injury of external ear were treated out of which number of involved ears were 82.91% of the facial burns had ear burns. The incidence was highest among the age group 21-40 years. Ear burn was more common in male in compare to female. Accidental flame burns was the most common etiological factor. 76.9% ear burns were superficial and healed completely without any deformity, with daily cleaning, antibiotic cream (SSD) and mastoid bandage application. Reconstruction of helical rim and earlobe loss was performed in two cases with cervical tube pedicle flap from supraclavicular region. Split thickness skin grafting was performed in eight cases of deep dermal burns. All the ears healed without any deformities or complications.Conclusion: For the total reconstruction of ear the principles are same as for the reconstruction of ear in microtia. Steps of reconstruction can vary according to availability of nearby normal skin. In near future with the advent of genetic tissue engineering, autologous ear cartilage from the remaining part can be cultured and reconstruction of ear with this cartilage framework will be possible to give excellent aesthetic results.
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