The use of combined radial forearm cutaneous and radial forearm fascial flaps in head and neck reconstruction: a case series.

Department of Plastic Surgery, The Christie Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, United Kingdom.
Journal of Reconstructive Microsurgery (Impact Factor: 1). 06/2012; 28(8):495-500. DOI: 10.1055/s-0032-1315767
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Introduction Reconstruction of complex head and neck cases involving bony and dural defects poses many issues. The primary aims of reconstruction are to provide a tight dural seal with good cranial support while also achieving a satisfactory cosmetic result.Aims This study describes the use of combined radial forearm cutaneous flap and radial forearm fascial flaps for reconstruction of complex skull defects where each component is used for a distinct reconstructive purpose. The benefits of this technique are illustrated in the cases of three patients requiring reconstruction following tumor resection.Methods The fascial component was used as a seal for dural defects. The cutaneous flap was then used to reconstruct the concomitant cutaneous defect.Conclusion The combined use of the fascial and cutaneous components of the radial forearm flap, where each is used for a distinct reconstructive purpose, increased the reconstructive versatility of this commonly used flap. The fascial flap was a thin, pliable, and highly vascularized piece of tissue that was effectively used to provide a watertight seal for the dural defect. The simultaneous use of the cutaneous flap gave support to the bony defect while providing a good cosmetic result.