Forehead Flap Periorbital Reconstruction

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Abstract

Objective

To evaluate functional and aesthetic results of periorbital defect repair using forehead flaps.

Design

Retrospective review of patients who received periorbital defect repair by 3 of us with a paramedian forehead flap alone or in conjunction with other local or regional flaps, bone grafts, or cartilage grafts. Flap survival, functional results, and postoperative complications were determined by physical examination at regular follow-up. Three experienced surgeons other than us quantified aesthetic outcomes using a 10-cm visual analog scale.

Results

Eighteen patients underwent periorbital defect repair between August 1, 1989, and December 31, 2000. Defects ranged from 8 to 300 cm2 (mean, 46.8 cm2) in area. The most commonly involved primary structures were the medial canthus, lacrimal drainage system, and medial upper eyelid. The mean improvement on a 10-cm visual analog scale was 1.6 from before resection to after reconstruction and 3.8 from tumor resection to after reconstruction. In all relevant cases, globe coverage and lacrimal drainage system patency were excellent. No patients experienced fistula formation or eyelid retraction.

Conclusion

The reliability, versatility, and relative technical simplicity of the forehead flap provide excellent cosmetic and functional results in reconstruction of intermediate-sized periorbital defects, especially those associated with nasal defects.

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