Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery
Print this page
Email this page
Small font size
Default font size
Increase font size
Home About us Current issue Archives Instructions Submission Subscribe Editorial Board Partners Contact e-Alerts Login 

   Table of Contents     
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 138-140
Conchal defect correction by hinge flap and transposition flap

Department of Plastic Surgery, Melmaruvathur Adhiparasakthi Institute of Medical Science and Research, Melmaruvathur, Tamil Nadu, India

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Web Publication17-Sep-2011


Reconstruction of old full-thickness conchal defects is rarely described in the literature. This article describes a simple technique for reconstruction of old through-and-through small defects of the concha. The anterior part of the defect is covered with hinge flap taken from the posterior surface of the ear. The resultant final posterior defect is covered with local transposition flap from the adjacent skin.

Keywords: Conchal defect, ear boring, ear reconstruction, hinge flap, transposition flap

How to cite this article:
Alagirisamy RB. Conchal defect correction by hinge flap and transposition flap. J Cutan Aesthet Surg 2011;4:138-40

How to cite this URL:
Alagirisamy RB. Conchal defect correction by hinge flap and transposition flap. J Cutan Aesthet Surg [serial online] 2011 [cited 2022 Jul 3];4:138-40. Available from:

   Introduction Top

The conchal defect correction described in the literature is due to trauma or neoplasm. Reconstruction of old through-and-through defects of concha, like the case described here, is rarely reported in the literature. It is difficult to close a full-thickness conchal defect by primary suturing because of the underlying unyielding cartilage. Partial cartilage sacrifice can facilitate closure of the conchal defect but may reduce the size of the ear. Ear defect correction with various local skin flaps with or without cartilage support is described in the literature. [1] In most cases, postauricular skin is used for anterior conchal skin reconstruction.

   Case Report Top

A 25-year-old male presented with a history of boring done in concha of the left ear about 20 years back as religious practice in his village. On examination, there was an elliptical full-thickness defect in the concha measuring 9 mm × 6 mm. There was a 0.5 mm scar around the margin of the defect. The scar was thin, flat, soft, supple and nonadherent. The skin surrounding the defect, on both sides of the ear, was normal and unscarred [Figure 1] and [Figure 2]. The patient, now employed, wanted the defect to be corrected.
Figure 1: Preoperative anterior left ear

Click here to view
Figure 2: Preoperative posterior left ear

Click here to view

   Objective Top

The left ear full-thickness conchal defect was planned for surgical correction. The problem was absence of skin on both the anterior and posterior conchal surfaces of the ear, with absence of underlying cartilage. The patient was planned for skin-only reconstruction on both sides of the ear.

   Operative Technique Top

The patient was operated under local anaesthesia with a 4x loupe magnification. Two dot markings were placed horizontally on the posterior surface of ear, 3 mm from the posterior margin defect. Two more dot markings were placed on the superior and inferior surface of the defect, just at the margin. All four dots were connected by a curved line forming an ellipse [Figure 3]a. An incision was made on the posterior conchal skin around the marked ellipse. Structures that were incised include skin, subdermis and pericondrium. The flap elevated with margin of defect as hinge. The hinge flap was turned 180 degrees and brought anteriorly through the defect to cover the anterior surface skin defect [Figure 4]. The resulting raw area on the posterior conchal skin, along with the original defect, measured 15 mm × 11 mm. The posterior conchal surface was covered with transposition skin flap mobilized from the adjacent postauricular area [Figure 3]b. The post auricular groove on the left ear was recreated by placing two anchoring sutures with 5-0 vicryl, bites taken from undersurface of the transposition flap to the post auricular sulcus. Skin closure was performed with 5-0 prolene interrupted sutures [Figure 5].
Figure 3: (a) Incision marking - hinge flap (b) Incision marking - transposition flap

Click here to view
Figure 4: Immediate postoperative anterior left ear

Click here to view
Figure 5: Immediate postoperative posterior left ear

Click here to view

Skin sutures were removed on the 10 th postoperative day. The anterior hinge flap and posterior transposition flap survived completely. The conchal defect was covered with skin of good colour match [Figure 6] and [Figure 7].
Figure 6: Postoperative 7th month - anterior left ear

Click here to view
Figure 7: Postoperative 7th month - posterior left ear

Click here to view

   Discussion Top

Surgical closure of any conchal defect needs tension-free repair and preservation of the postauricular sulcus. A full-thickness conchal defect is corrected by local flaps. [1] The ideal choice for covering the anterior concha is skin from the postauricular area or from the posterior surface of the ear. [2],[3] The other option available for reconstrction of conchal defect is full thickness graft Full-thickness skin graft can undergo centripetal contraction with poor aesthetic result. [4] Postauricular flap based on dermal pedicle can be tunneled via conchal cartilage for conchal reconstruction. [5] Other procedures described for conchal reconstruction are pull-through transpositional flap, [6] turn over flap [7] and trap door flap. [8]

The hinge flap technique described here is a simple and easy procedure. Hinge flap is the flap taken from the margin of the defect. The margin acts as a hinge and the posterior ear skin is turned anteriorly through the defect without de-epithelization. The indication is old full-thickness small conchal defect with well-matured thin scar. Small flaps with pericondrium can be taken if the scar is thin and mature because of cross-communication of blood vessels in the concha. The external ear has two arterial networks, one in the network of the triangular fossa-scapha and other in the network of the concha. Both networks communicate on the antihelix. [9] The conchal network is provided by two to four perforators that come from the posterior auricular artery, piercing the conchal floor and communicating with the auricular branch of the superficial temporal artery. Elevation of the hinge flap with the pericondrium preserves blood supply by conchal network communications. The local transposition flap taken from the postauricular area to cover the posterior ear defect retains the depth of the posterior auricular sulcus. [10]

   Summary Top

The conchal defect can be corrected by various methods depending on its size and location. This article describes a simple technique for covering small old through-and-through full-thickness conchal defect.

   References Top

1.Reddy LV, Zide MF. Reconstruction of skin cancer defects of the auricle. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2004;62:1457-71.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Jackson IT, Milligan L, Agarwal K. The versatile revolving door flap in the reconstruction of ear defects. Eur J Plast Surg 1994;17:131.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Talmi YP, Horowitz Z, Bedrin L, Kronenberg J. Auricular reconstruction with a postauricular myocutaneous island flap: Flip-flop flap. Plast Reconstr Surg 1996;98:1191-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Dessy LA, Figus A, Fioramonti P, Mazzocchi M, Scuderi N. Reconstruction of anterior auricular conchal defect after malignancy excision: Revolving-door flap versus full-thickness skin graft. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg 2010;63:746-52.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Renard A. Postauricular flap based on a dermal pedicle for ear reconstruction. Plast Reconstr Surg 1981;68:159-65.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Azaria R, Amir A, Hauben DJ. Anterior conchal reconstruction using a posteroauricular pull-through transpositional flap. Plast Reconstr Surg 2004;113:2071-5.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.El Kollali R, Ghoneim I. The turn-over flap for repair of an iatrogenic hole of the concha. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg 2007;60:1349-51.   Back to cited text no. 7
8.Lynch J, Mahajan AL, Regan P. The trap door flap for reconstructing defects of the concha. Br J Plast Surg 2003;56:709-11.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Park C, Lineaweaver WC, Rumly TO, Buncke HJ. Arterial supply of the anterior ear. Plast Reconstr Surg 1992;90:38-44.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Schroeder WA Jr. Closure of conchal defects. The hinged retroconchal island flap with overlying cutaneous transposition flap. Dermatol Surg 1995;21:560-2.  Back to cited text no. 10

Correspondence Address:
Ramesh Bellam Alagirisamy
9, Shanthi Nagar, Seventh Street, Adambakkam, Chennai - 600 088, Tamil Nadu
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-2077.85042

Rights and Permissions


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6], [Figure 7]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

   Case Report
   Operative Technique
    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded175    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal