Comparison of scalp and abdomen as split-thickness skin graft donor sites for aural stenosis repair
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To evaluate and compare the scalp and the abdomen as split-thickness skin graft donor sites for aural stenosis repair. A total of 34 patients with aural stenosis were included in the study. All the patients underwent meatoplasty using split-thickness skin grafts. Among them, the skin graft donor site was the scalp in 11 patients and the abdomen in the other 23 patients. The surgical team followed the patients in the outpatient department for at least 6 months after surgery. Evaluations concerned healing of the donor site, hair regeneration of the donor site, survival of split-thickness skin grafts, reoccurrence of aural stenosis and hair growth in the ear canal. The incidences of reoccurrence of aural stenosis in the two groups were compared. Subjective scar evaluation of the donor sites was performed using the Patient Scar Assessment Scale (PASA). The scale items were pain, itching, color, stiffness, thickness and irregularity. All the scalp and abdominal donor sites healed well with no sign of infection. Hair regrowth and reepithelialization was observed at all the scalp donor sites. Pink discoloration was observed at the scalp donor sites in six patients 2–3 months after surgery and disappeared 6–9 months after surgery. Scars were observed at the scalp donor sites in two patients 6 months after surgery. No alopecia was observed at the scalp donor sites. The scars and pink discoloration were hidden in the hair. Scars and/or discoloration were observed at all the abdominal donor sites 12 months after surgery. All the scalp and abdominal skin grafts survived with no sign of infection. Hair growth was observed in the ear canals in two patients in the scalp group. The incidences of reoccurrence of aural stenosis were 0 % (0/23) in the abdominal group and 9.1 % (1/11) in the scalp group, respectively (Chi square test, p > 0.05). The PASA values about color, stiffness, thickness and irregularity were higher in the abdominal group than in the scalp group (Mann–Whitney U test, p < 0.001). The PASA values about pain and itching were the same (Mann–Whitney U test, p > 0.05). The scalp meets most requirements of an ideal donor site of skin grafts for aural stenosis. The advantages of scalp as a donor site include easy accessibility in the operative field, simple postoperative care, low risk of infection, rapid wound healing, minimal interference with rehabilitation, and minimal scar formation.
KeywordsAural stenosis External ear Nonmicrovascular reconstruction Grafts