Tissue Expansion Using Hyaluronic Acid Filler for Single-Stage Ear Reconstruction: A Novel Concept for Difficult Areas.

By Dicembre 19, 2017 Gennaio 24th, 2020 No Comments

Amir Inbal, MD Benjamin T Lemelman, MD Eran Millet, MD Andrew Greensmith, MD

Aesthetic Surgery Journal, Volume 37, Issue 10, 16 October 2017, Pages 1085–1097

Published: 20 July 2017


Auricular reconstruction is one of the most challenging procedures in plastic surgery. An adequate skin envelope is essential for cartilage framework coverage, yet few good options exist without additional surgery. We propose a novel method for minimally invasive tissue expansion, using hyaluronic acid (HA) filler to allow for single-stage ear reconstruction.


To introduce the novel concept of HA filler for tissue expansion in ear reconstruction, and as an alternative to traditional expansion techniques.


Macrolane is a large particle HA gel developed for large volume restoration. Expansion of the non-hair-bearing mastoid skin was performed in our clinic weekly or every other week. Final expansion was completed one week prior to reconstructive surgery. Tissue from one patient’s expanded pocket was sent for histological analysis.


Ten patients underwent single-stage auricular reconstruction with preoperative expansion. Injection sessions ranged from 7 to 13 (mean, 9.7). Mean injected volume per session was 2.03 mL per patient, for an average total of 19.8 mL (range, 14.5-30 mL). There were no major complications. One minor complication required removal of exposed wire from the antihelix in the office. Hematoxylin and eosin stain revealed similar histology to that seen with traditional expanders.


This novel expansion technique using serial HA injections allowed for optimized skin coverage in single-stage ear reconstruction. The concept of tissue expansion using HA filler is a new frontier for research that may be applicable to other arenas of reconstruction.

Level of Evidence: 4