Simplified Calvarial Reconstruction: Coverage of Bare Skull With GammaGraft Promotes Granulation and Facilitates Skin Grafting

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Abstract

Repair of scalp defects with exposed calvaria remains a difficult clinical problem. Herein, we present a simple alternative method of scalp reconstruction. Coverage of bare skull with GammaGraft (Promethean LifeSciences, Inc, Pittsburgh, PA) promotes the evolution of granulation tissue and permits subsequent skin grafting without need for burring, drilling, or other manipulation of the outer table of the calvaria. A retrospective review of patients undergoing scalp reconstruction utilizing GammaGraft and subsequent skin grafting was performed at our institution. From our cohort, 5 patients treated with GammaGraft and subsequent skin grafting had both immediate and long-term follow-up available. Indications for scalp reconstruction included erosions of prior skin grafts and direct excision of full-thickness scalp and pericranium. Average time to definitive skin grafting was 3 weeks; repeat application of GammaGraft was required in some patients with reapplication to subsequent smaller wounds as healing occurred. Complications were minor and consisted of ongoing wound drainage. Alternative flap reconstruction was not required in any patient due to treatment failures. No major complications, wound infections, or early reoperations occurred in any of the patients; 1 patient to date has required repeat reconstruction due to recurrent disease. Coverage of bare skull with GammaGraft and subsequent skin grafting provides a simple and elegant solution to an often too difficult clinical problem. Confirmed by results in out limited series, the utilization of GammaGraft in calvarial reconstruction represents an alternative method in surgical care of complex scalp defects with exposed bone.

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