Author(s): Concannon MJ, Puckett CL
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Abstract Ear amputation can leave a devastating deformity; the application of microsurgical replantation techniques has allowed very favorable aesthetic outcomes when successful. We report a case of ear replantation in a child in whom a venous repair was not performed; instead medicinal leeches were used to decompress the ear in the immediate postoperative setting. This represents the third reported case of successful ear replantation without microsurgical venous anastomosis. A review of the literature reveals the high incidence of venous congestion requiring external decompression (57 percent) and the very high rate of salvage (80 percent) after replantation. Surgeons attempting ear replantation should be aware of the high rate of ear survival in the situation of no venous outflow (with appropriate decompression techniques) and should not abandon attempts at replantation because of the inability to establish venous outflow microsurgically.
This article was published in Plast Reconstr Surg
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Case Reports