Prefabricated Neck Expanded Skin Flap with the Superficial Temporal Vessels for Facial Resurfacing

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BackgroundThe achievement of a normal-appearing face after surgical resurfacing remains an elusive goal. This is due in part to insufficient color matching, restoration of contours, and the persistence of visible scars. Flap prefabrication is a staged procedure that provides an independent axial blood supply to local expanded tissues. We describe a new reconstructive alternative with superior reconstructive surgical options for facial resurfacing that better matches damaged or discarded facial tissues.MethodsA superficial temporal fascial flap was harvested as the vascular supply of the prefabricated neck flap and located in a subcutaneous neck pocket over a tissue expander. After a 5-month period for expansion and maturation, the prefabricated skin flap was raised, islanded, and rotated to resurface the facial defect.ResultsFour patients with hemifacial postburn contracture and two patients affected by hemifacial vascular malformations aged 17 to 42 years (mean 29 years) were successfully treated with no major complication after a mean period of 15 months.ConclusionPrefabricated neck-expanded skin flap demonstrated an excellent color and texture match with facial skin that surrounded the repair sites, and optimal aesthetic results were obtained. Importantly, facial expression was completely maintained due to thinness and pliability of the rotated skin.

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