Reconstruction of full-thickness cheek defect with chimeric facial artery free flap: A case report

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Full-thickness cheek defects represent a difficult challenge for reconstructive surgeons. Multiple techniques have been described, including local, regional, and free flaps. In this report, the reconstruction of a through and through left cheek defect, resulting from a self-inflicted gunshot injury, with a chimeric facial artery free flap is presented. The patient underwent reconstruction with a chimeric full-thickness facial artery free flap, with 9 × 3 cm diameter skin paddle and a 6 × 5 cm myomucosal paddle, was harvested on the contralateral cheek with a 7-cm length of facial pedicle. The flap was transferred via a microsurgical technique and an end-to-end microsurgical anastomosis was performed between the donor and the contralateral facial vessels. The flap was transplanted successfully and there were no donor or recipient site complications with a satisfactory esthetic result 5 years after surgery. This technique may be a good reconstructive option for medium size, full-thickness, cheek defects allowing a “like with like” reconstruction with minimal donor-site morbidity.

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