Introduction/aims: In this prospective study we present our clinical experience of the accuracy in predictions regarding the location of greater auricular nerve using topical anatomic landmarks.
Materials and methods: A total of 99 patients, in a three year, eight month period, between 1st January 2006 and 31st August 2009 were included in the study.
Inclusion criteria: All patients that required surgical approach using neck incisions that expose the greater auricular nerve. All procedures were carried out by same consultant and co-author (T. Lowe). Exclusion criteria: (1) Distorted topical anatomy – either due to previous surgery or voluminous pathology in the neck. (2) Patients requiring radical procedures due to advanced disease (head and neck cancer).
Results: The predictive calculations for the exact location of the greater auricular nerve were performed intra-operatively and tabulated. Details of patient demographics, indications for surgery, and validity of predictions are presented. Complete results of our study will be offered in our presentation.
Conclusion: Surface landmarks predicted the actual location of the greater auricular nerve with marked precision, in our study. We recommend their use in identification and preservation of the greater auricular nerve.