Application of Tissue Expansion with Perforator Flaps for Reconstruction of Challenging Skin Lesions

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Abstract

Background

One set of perforators can supply its own perforasome as well as the adjacent perforasome. The process of tissue expansion can mimic the effect of surgical delay to include more perforasomes into the perforator flap. By combining the perforasome theory with the technique of tissue expansion, large and various expanded perforator flaps can be achieved.

Methods

From July 2007 to July 2014, we performed eight different types of expanded perforator flaps in a total of 83 cases: 41 supraclavicular artery perforator flaps, 11 superficial cervical artery perforator flaps, 15 lateral thoracic perforator flaps, 6 internal mammary artery perforator flaps, 6 thoracoabdominal perforator flaps, 2 facial artery perforator flaps, 1 posterior interosseous perforator flap, and 1 ulnar collateral artery perforator flap. During the follow-up period, the survival rate, color, texture, and retraction of the flaps were assessed.

Results

The dimensions of the flaps ranged from 8 × 6 to 25 × 25 cm. Minor flap necrosis occurred in 20.5% of the cases, and severe flap necrosis developed in 2.4% of the cases. The donor sites were closed primarily in all but three cases. During the follow-up period (average, 13 months; range, 8-18 months), no flap contracture was observed with a good color and texture match.

Conclusion

By combining the concept of perforasome with the technique of tissue expansion, flaps with large dimensions and reliable blood supply can be achieved, allowing a more flexible design to reconstruct various and challenging skin lesions.

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