Resurfacing of the Mid and Lower Faces by Preexpanded Supraclavicular Flap

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Abstract

Extensive scarring and giant nevi on the mid and lower faces places further demands on scar resurfacing in terms of match, size, and thickness. The area of supraclavicular cervical flap is rather limited, but the expansion could expand its utility in facial resurfacing.

Rectangular expanders were inserted via the incisions at the upper fringes of clavicles, and implanted under supraclavicular flap areas. After full expansion, the flap based on supraclavicular artery was elevated to cover the defects left by surgical removal of scar or tumor. Pedicle division was performed on the 10 to 14 days postoperatively.

A total of 17 patients were treated with the described technique between 2005 and 2015. The dimensions of the flap ranged from 17 cm × 8.5 cm to 22 cm × 12 cm. The average size was 197 cm2. Twenty-one flaps (with 4 patients in bilateral fashion) survived completely. Epidermolysis occurred to 2 flaps, which healed by conservative management. These flaps matched well with the face in terms of the color, thickness, and texture. No obvious flap shrinkage occurred in the follow-up. The donor sites were closed primarily without loss of function or breast deformity.

It is an efficient and safe method to obtain preexpanded supraclavicular flap, applying to patients with extensive scarring on mid and lower faces, especially female ones. Excellent aesthetics can be achieved without compromising function and aesthetics of donor sites.

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