[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 16-year-old Bangladeshi girl presented with a 9-day history of an extensive pruritic, erythematous, papulovesicular skin eruption to both forearms. Appearance was 5 days following application of a home-made henna preparation. Examination revealed ulceration and scabbing along the whole henna pattern and early keloid formation. A diagnosis of type IV delayed hypersensitivity reaction superimposed by infection was initially made. As in this case, home-made henna preparations commonly combine commercial henna with black hair dye, paraphenylenediamine (PPD). PPD, widely known as 'black henna', darkens the pigment and precipitates the drying process. PPD is a potent contact allergen associated with a high incidence of hypersensitivity reactions. Despite treatment the patient was left with extensive keloid scarring in the pattern of the henna tattoo.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In microvascular reconstructive surgery the patency of the recipient vessels is the key to successful outcome. In head and neck surgery there is often a lack of adequate recipient vessels as a result of chemoradiation therapy and ablative surgery. To overcome this it is crucial to identify vessels of adequate length and diameter outside the field of injury. We report our experience with cephalic vein transposition for drainage of seven free flaps--six intestinal and one osteocutaneous--for head and neck reconstruction. In five cases the cephalic vein was used during the free flap transfer and in two cases in salvage re-exploration surgery. All flaps survived completely. The anatomical course and location of the cephalic vein allow good patency and straightforward harvesting. Its vascular properties are predictive of reduced incidence of complications such as flap congestion and failure. We suggest that the cephalic vein offers a high venous flow drainage system for large free flaps and advocate its use in free intestinal transfer in the vessel-depleted neck as well as in re-exploration surgery.