This experimental study investigates the use of vascularized fascia as carrier for prelaminated cartilage and bone flaps.Methods
A total of 30 male New Zealand white rabbits were divided into two equal groups (A and B). The fascia surrounding the inguinal fat and superficial inferior epigastric vessels was dissected. In group A, the fascia was wrapped around a template (20 × 40 mm) of cartilage harvested from the rabbit's ear. In group B, the fascia was wrapped around a 15 × 35 mm piece of rib cortical bone. After a maturation period of 4 weeks, group A was subdivided into three groups (A1, A2, and A3). In group A1 (six animals) the animals were sacrificed and the flaps were sent for histological examination, in A2 (six animals) the flaps were rotated 180 degrees and anchored at knee level, and in A3 (two animals) the flaps were transferred as free flaps to the right SIE (superficial inferior epigastric vessels). The animals of subgroups A2 and A3 were sacrificed after another maturation period of 2 weeks and the flaps were sent for histological examination. After a maturation period of 6 weeks, group B was subdivided into three subgroups (B1, B2, and B3) corresponding to the cartilage subgroups. Subgroups B2 and B3 were sacrificed after 2 weeks.Results
All flaps of groups A and B demonstrated good viability apart from one specimen of subgroup B2. Angiogenesis was present in all groups.Conclusion
Meticulously dissected vascularized fascia can be successfully used for prelamination of complex fasciocartilaginous or osseofascial flaps. The required maturation periods are 4 and 6 weeks, respectively.