The Paramidline Forehead Flap: A Clinical and Microanatomic Study

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

The traditional paramedian forehead flap (FHF) is an axial flap based on the supratrochlear artery (STA). Doppler examination is often used to ensure inclusion of the STA within the flap. The authors hypothesized that a FHF pedicle design could be simplified to extend from the midline of the glabella to 1.2 cm lateral to the midline without compromising outcomes.

OBJECTIVE

To compare clinical outcomes and vessel densities of 2 FHF designs.

METHODS

Two FHF designs were used to repair fifty nasal defects. One was based on Doppler identification of the STA; the other on clinical measurements from the glabellar midline (with no effort to identify the STA). Clinical outcomes, complication rates, and pedicle vasculature of both groups were compared.

RESULTS

There was no significant difference in flap survival or complication rate. Forehead flaps designed on the paramidline glabella had more arteries within their pedicles than Doppler-based FHFs (p < .05). Small arteries predominated, whereas larger arteries were infrequent in both groups. Size and number of arteries were not related to flap survival.

CONCLUSION

A paramidline FHF has equivalent clinical outcomes as a flap based on the STA. A simple and reproducible design of the FHF using only surface landmarks is described.

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