Three hundred ninety-seven patients with 407 cutaneous malignancies of the auricle, periauricular region, and cartilaginous external ear canal were reviewed. Tumors were most commonly located in the preauricular and postauricu- lar regions, followed by the helix, concha, antihelix, and ear canal. All lesions were excised with Mohs microscopic control of margins. For lesions requiring lateral temporal hone resection, an adaptation of fresh-tissue microscopic control was used to analyze deep and anterior margins suspected of harboring residual tumor. Two-year minimum follow-up of 229 patients with periauricular and auricular tumors (N = 231 tumors) and 14 patients with cartilaginous ear canal tumors (N = 14 tumors) revealed recurrence rates of 6.9% and 14.3%, respectively. Recurrences were most common in cases of large tumors (>2.5 cm), basal cell carcinomas with morphea elements, and multiply recurrent lesions. We conclude that Mohs surgery is comparatively effective, though not uniformly curative, and can be adapted to supplement excision of large tumors in these regions.
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