Antihelical Cartilage Grafts for Reconstruction of Mohs Micrographic Surgery Defects


  • The authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Joel Cook, MD, Department of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, 135 Rutledge Avenue, Suite 1101, Charleston, SC 29403, or e-mail:



To illustrate the safety, efficacy, and versatility of the antihelix as the preferred donor site for auricular cartilage autografts in the reconstruction of nasal and auricular Mohs micrographic surgery defects.

Materials and Methods

Retrospective chart review of all cartilage autografts performed at the Medical University of South Carolina for the 5-year period July 1, 2006, to June 30, 2011; 307 auricular cartilage autografts were performed in 297 patients. Each case was reviewed for demographic data, graft donor site, repair type, complications, and revisions.


Three hundred five of the grafts (99.3%) were harvested from the antihelix and the remaining two (0.7%) from the conchal bowl. The donor site complication rate was 3%. No patients experienced cosmetic or functional deformity of the donor ear. No patients experienced cartilage graft resorption or infection.


Antihelical cartilage grafts can serve as safe, effective, and versatile alternatives to septal, conchal bowl, and costal margin grafts. The authors feel strongly that the antihelix donor site should be favored when harvesting auricular cartilage for its easy accessibility, large dimension that may be harvested without aesthetic penalty, character of graft, and minimal operative morbidity.