Combining Free Flap Reconstruction and Craniofacial Prosthetic Technique for Orbit, Scalp, and Temporal Defects

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To identify factors leading to successful application of prosthetic techniques following free flap reconstruction of the orbit, scalp, and temporal region.

Study Design:

Retrospective review.


Twenty-eight patients who underwent free flap reconstruction for defects of these regions between 1989 and 1996 were reviewed for clinical parameters, flap loss, patient survival, and implant loss rate. Prosthetic usage rates were compared before and after introduction of a site-specific reconstructive algorithm.


Free flap success rate was 93%, whereas osseointegrated implant loss rate was 11%. In addition to implants, a reconstructive strategy that provided thin, vascular tissue between bone and skin, a flat platform in the temporal region, and preservation of orbital cavity depth led to increased prosthetic usage.


Craniofacial prosthetic techniques can significantly augment the results of free flap surgery for the orbit, scalp, and temporal region. Successful combination of these techniques requires a site-specific surgical approach.

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