Esthetic and Functional Reconstruction for Burn Deformities of the Lower Lip and Chin With Free Radial Forearm Flap

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Burn injury often has produced deformity both of contours and cover in face and neck. Hypertrophic burn scar contracture of the lower face and neck is one of the most difficult subjects to solve because it produces problems with function and appearance. In planning the correction, the restoration of normal form and function is the best way in reconstruction.

From January 1998 to January 2002, we had 7 patients who had scar contractures of the lower face and neck. We reconstructed their deformities with free radial forearm flap and skin graft. We could get restoration of the facial form to normal shape, position, and quality of the facial skin cover homogeneity. No remarkable complications have been found in all 7 patients.

For better outcomes, there are some considerations. The lowest margin of the flap should be limited to at least 1 finger breadth above the hyoid bone because low setting of the flap may deteriorate the cervicomental angle. The skin graft is undertaken in the cervical region. Adhesion between the flap dermis and wound bed may be necessary for reconstruction of the labiomental sulcus.

Burn deformities of the lower face and neck area were resurfaced with free radial forearm flap and skin graft. Flaps did not look completely normal, but those were compatible with the adjacent skin. We could have an adequate functional resurfacing and optimal esthetic outcomes while minimizing recurrent contractures.

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