The Freestyle Facial Artery Perforator Flap for Reconstruction of Simultaneous Periorbital and Cheek Defects

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Abstract

The reconstruction of defects involving the nasolabial, paranasal, and periorbital regions may be challenging, because they often involve more than one facial aesthetic unit, and can lead to functional problems. An average of 5 facial artery perforators of caliber >0.5 mm can be found above the mandible. A reference point for the location of the most constantly encountered perforator was suggested as being 1.5 cm lateral to the oral commissure, and at its same level in height or slightly inferior to the commissure. Based on injection studies, it is known that these perforators can supply an average area of 8 cm2. The authors have extended the use of the freestyle perforator flap in a 87-year-old woman presented with an advanced melanoma of the paranasal area and nasolabial region (Breslow depth: 9 mm; Clark level V). Complete resection of the lesion with 3 cm oncological margins was performed. One-stage reconstruction with superior cosmetic results was achieved. The need for a perforator dissection is not necessarily a drawback, and classic concerns should be abandoned. The face is highly vascularized, and flap congestion is a rare event, usually a consequence of excessive pedicle trimming. Although technically more demanding, it should become one of the first reconstructive options when dealing with similar defects, if our results are confirmed in larger series.

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