The use of glycerol-preserved skin allograft in conjunction with reconstructive and flap surgery: seven years of experience.
ABSTRACT Major reconstructive surgery may be extensive and prolonged, and it may cause edema and compromise the flap pedicle if closed under tension. Glycerol-preserved skin allograft (GPA) can provide a means for tension-free closure and temporary cover of the wound. Seven years of analysis on GPA used in conjunction with major reconstruction was undertaken to highlight its indications, results, and outcomes. Forty-seven patients were included, aged between 9 and 73 years. Majority of patients had reconstruction following tumor resection and trauma. The main indication for use of GPA was temporary, loose cover of the wound in 44% of cases; flap pedicle protection in 31% of cases; donor site wound cover in 10%; flap monitoring in one case; and management of flap-related complications in 6% of cases. Free flap reconstruction was performed in 72% of cases. In conclusion, GPA is a useful adjunct in reconstructive surgery. It can be used temporarily to allow tension-free wound closure, as well as to protect the flap pedicle until edema subsides and the pedicle becomes stable. This latter approach allows secondary wound closure and good esthetic outcome.