Reconstruction of extensive defects of the cranium using free-tissue transfer

Authors

  • Dr. Zoran Potparić MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University Medical Center, Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Hercegovina
    • Department of Plastic Surgery, Eastern Virginia Medical School, 508 Medical Tower, Norfolk, VA 23507
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  • Borisa Starović MD

    1. Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University Medical Center, Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Hercegovina
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Abstract

Fourteen patients with large tissue deficits in the calvarium and orbits were reconstructed using microvascular free-tissue transfer (15 flaps). The etiology of these defects was skin neoplasms (seven), osteomyelitis (four), burn (two), and trauma (one). The free flaps used were the latissimus dorsi muscle flap with a split-thickness skin graft (seven), latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap (two), rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap (three), radial forearm fasciocutaneous flap (two), and split-iliac crest flap (one). There was one postoperative death, one flap failure, two recurrences of neoplasm, and one loss of bone grafts and flap from infection. The free flaps can offer good results in patients undergoing wide resection in the cranium and orbits providing immediate repair with acceptable cosmetic result, minimized morbidity, and short hospitalization. However, immediate reconstruction following tumor resection carries a danger of positive margins discovered on permanent histologic sections or the difficulty in detecting recurrence underneath a bulky free flap.

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