Capsular Tissue: A New Local Flap

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Capsular tissue, the interface that forms between an implanted device and the body's own soft tissues, has recently been shown to develop its own unique blood supply. This capsular tissue with its extensive vascular plexus has not been described previously as an isolated flap. The purpose of our study was to determine whether an isolated flap of capsular tissue would survive as a local pedicle flap and provide enough inherent vascularity to support a skin graft. Isolated expanded and nonex-panded capsular flaps were compared by using 20 expanders (10 expanded and 10 nonexpanded) in two mixed-breed female pigs. Expanded and nonexpanded capsular flaps were elevated 8 weeks following expander placement. These flaps were raised on their capsular bases alone, and skin grafts were placed onto the capsular surfaces. All the expanded capsular flaps and their skin grafts had 100 percent survival. Skin grafts on the non-expanded flaps survived an average of 28 percent, with graft survival corresponding to flap survival. This study confirms that flaps of isolated expanded capsular tissue survive and provide enough inherent vascularity to support a split-thickness skin graft.

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