Applications of Burow's Grafts in the Reconstruction of Mohs Micrographic Surgery Defects

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Surgical defects in anatomically challenging locations, such as near free margins or crossing cosmetic subunits, may present reconstructive challenges to the dermatologic surgeon. For selected defects, Burow's grafts may produce functional and aesthetic results in a single operative session.

OBJECTIVE

To describe the applications of the Burow's graft technique for the repair of defects after Mohs micrographic surgery.

METHODS

An institutional review board–approved retrospective database review of surgical defects repaired with Burow's grafting after Mohs micrographic surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina was performed. The general technique of Burow's grafting is described, emphasizing proper graft sizing and direction of tension vectors. Varying anatomic locations and defect types are presented, with site-specific considerations and operative photographs.

RESULTS

Burow's grafting provides ideal color and textural match, preserves subunit boundaries, results in a compact single-site wound, and may avoid complications of alternate repair choices. The tension vectors produced in closing the graft's harvest site may be designed to prevent distortion of free margins. Burow's grafting may be combined with hinge flaps to repair deep or avascular defects.

CONCLUSION

Burow's grafts are reproducible, aesthetic, and useful reconstructive choices for a variety of surgical wounds.

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