Unilateral Cervical Burn Scar Deformity Elimination With Contralateral Cervicothoracic Flap—A New Approach

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Abstract

Unilateral postburn cervical deformity is a severe cosmetic and functional defect and a challenging reconstructive problem. Many flaps have been suggested; however, after surgery, operational scars, located along the anterior neck's middle line, and the flap's skin differ from cervical healthy skin. A small flap resembles a patch. A more effective and safer technique is neck resurfacing with cervicothoracic adipocutaneous flap which had been used by the author in 32 burned patients. The flap's peculiarities are as follows: axis blood circulation via superficial cervical artery perforator; exclusion of platysma (flap is thin and elastic); and undamaged donor site. The mobilized healthy neck's skin with thin fat layer and adipocutaneous layer of the chest wall are elevated as a whole large flap. After scar excision, the cervicothoracic flap is advanced on the wound with tension. As a result of flap tension, the skin of neck's back, thoracic wall, and axilla are displaced to the anterior neck surface covering the donor wound. On an average, 6 cm of the deformed neck anterior surface was restored. No flap loss but only local superficial scar necrosis along the flap's border occurred. The cervical contracture and scar deformity (25 patients) were eliminated in all cases by a single procedure. For complete neck skin restoration, seven patients underwent staged reconstruction using the same technique. Excellent functional and good cosmetic follow-up results were achieved. The proposed technique is easy to plan and perform and yields good results; therefore, the author believes that the contralateral cervicothoracic flap's use is an exclusive option for unilateral cervical contracture and deformity elimination in adults and pediatric patients.

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