Journal of Plastic Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery

Published by Elsevier
Print ISSN: 1748-6815
Publications
Transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous (TRAM) flap surgery is a complex procedure characterised by an extensive wound site. We present a pilot study with 17 patients receiving continuous wound instillation with ropivacaine or isotonic saline. Patients undergoing TRAM flap surgery were included in the study and randomised to the ropi group or the control group. Two catheters were placed subcutaneously before wound site closure. At the end of surgery patients received a single shot dose of 20 ml ropivacaine 0.2% or isotonic saline. After surgery the continuous instillation of ropivacaine or isotonic saline was commenced at an infusion rate of 10 ml/h per catheter. The perfusion of the TRAM flap was measured intraoperatively and postoperatively over 48 h. Pain scores, patient satisfaction, and the quality of recovery score were also assessed postoperatively over 48 h. Ropivacaine plasma levels were quantified 24 and 48 h after start of infusion. Pain scores at rest and on coughing were lower for the ropi group and reached significance in the first 8h at rest (P=0.007). Patient satisfaction, quality of recovery score, and adverse events were also comparable between the groups. Patients of the ropi group had bowel movement earlier than the control group (P=0.003). No differences were seen in the flap perfusion. Ropivacaine plasma levels were within therapeutic range. Our data show a trend that continuous wound instillation of ropivacaine 0.2% increases pain relief after TRAM flap surgery with earlier bowel movement than intravenous opioid patient controlled analgesia (IV-PCA) alone. A does of 960 mg of ropivacaine daily did not result in toxic plasma concentrations. Ropivacaine 0.2% did not show a vasoconstrictor effect.
 
Orthopaedic literature regarding lower limb joints reports a decline in operative management of rheumatoid arthritis since the 1980s. We investigated whether the demand for hand surgery for rheumatoid disease had changed over the last 13 years in our unit. Data for all patients undergoing operative treatment for rheumatoid arthritis of the hand and wrist over a 13-year period were analysed. Between 1996 and 2009, 1,069 patients with rheumatoid disease (182 men, 887 women) underwent a total of 1,109 hand surgery procedures. The operations were synovectomy (430, 39%), arthroplasty (252, 23%), arthrodesis (194, 18%) and tendon surgery (233, 21.0%). Linear regression analysis showed a statistically significant decrease in the number of synovectomies, arthroplasties and arthrodeses between 1996 and 2009, but no decrease in tendon surgery. We explore possible factors responsible for this change in operative workload.
 
Based on our experience of 102 clinical cases and 100 anatomical dissections, we have assessed the indications for the posterior interosseous flap in reconstruction of the hand. Large fasciocutaneous island flaps can be harvested, even when the radial or ulnar pedicles are damaged. One real advantage is that the posterior interosseous artery is a vessel of secondary importance for hand vascularisation. Fasciocutaneous and osteofasciocutaneous island distally based flaps can be tailored. The major indications are reconstruction of the first web space up to the interphalangeal joint of the thumb, dorsal hand defects up to the metacarpal joints and large defects on the palm-ulnar border of the hand. It is, therefore, a primary weapon amongst hand reconstruction techniques.
 
Unlabelled: This article reviews a series of 106 patients presenting with cleft lip and palate who underwent a simultaneous combined cleft lip and palate repair under the age of 10 months. The technique is described together with the early postoperative results. A single surgeon (the author) operated on the 106 patients. The youngest patient was 6 weeks old, and the smallest weighed 2.3 kg. All patients underwent palate repair, followed by lip repair, at a single sitting. The palate repair used the Sommerlad technique with radical muscle repositioning and bilateral lateral Langenbeck-type releasing incisions when indicated. Of the total, 71 patients (67%) had a unilateral lip and palate cleft and underwent a modified Millard repair; 34 (32%) had a bilateral lip defect and underwent a modified Mulliken repair; and one (1%) had a midline cleft lip. Ten patients were excluded from the study, as their palate was deemed too wide to close. Instead, they underwent cleft lip repair and vomer flap to the anterior palate alone. The mean duration of the procedure was 97 min. There was neither mortality, nor significant anaesthetic complications. Two patients who had low oxygen saturation postoperatively were taken back to the theatre. In both cases, the soft palate sutures were removed and the airway improved to a safe degree, permitting return to the ward for subsequent final repair. All patients were discharged home without any ongoing problems. One patient subsequently developed a unilateral dehiscence of a bilateral lip, and seven patients underwent a second procedure to close a palatal fistula. Early follow-up results are encouraging, with only 8% of patients to date requiring a second procedure. Conclusion: Although technically challenging, cleft lip and palate repair in a single simultaneous procedure is a successful and, most importantly, a safe procedure, which enables the complete clefting condition to be repaired early and in a single operation.
 
Background: Patient-reported data, including effects on patient satisfaction and quality of life, have not been rigorously studied in women treated with mastopexy and augmentation/mastopexy. This prospective outcome study evaluates and compares mastopexy (n=36), augmentation/mastopexy (n=47), and reduction (n=20) from the patient's perspective. Methods: Over a 5-year period, 125 consecutive women underwent vertical mammaplasties incorporating a medial pedicle. In-person interviews were conducted among 106 women at least 1 month after surgery (response rate, 84.8%). Questions were asked in six categories: patient data, indications, recovery, results, complications, and psychological effects. A follow-up study examined the incidence of subjective nipple numbness. Results: The mean pain rating was 4.5 on a 1-10 scale. Both mastopexy (resection weight<300 g per breast) and reduction patients reported a significant reduction in physical symptoms after surgery (p<0.001). The mean result rating was 9.0 n a scale of 1-10. Expectations were met or exceeded in 91.5% of augmentation/mastopexy patients. The reported complication rate was 15.1%. The incidence of persistent nipple numbness was 10.6%. All procedures reduced breast self-consciousness (p<0.001). A correlation was found between the result rating and a lack of complications (p=0.01). Conclusions: All three breast procedures provide a high level of patient satisfaction (94.3%), improved self-esteem (89.3%), and improved quality of life (69.5%). Mastopexy patients report a symptomatic benefit in addition to correction of ptosis. Vertical augmentation/mastopexy provides a high level of patient satisfaction.
 
Permanent expanders have revolutionised breast reconstructive surgery, allowing one-stage procedures and the development of increasingly sophisticated implants (textured, anatomically shaped) has played an important role in enhancing the aesthetic outcomes. It is important to evaluate the tolerability of the implant. The aim of this present study was to evaluate the survival curves for McGhan Style 150 permanent expanders, in a consecutive series of breast reconstructions. Complications rates were also examined.
 
Dog bites are considered to be septic injuries, and their location on the face, with its highly symbolic topography and important social functions, is particularly pertinent. In addition to specific medical aspects, such as their psychological impact, they are also of relevance in terms of child protection measures. In light of the far-reaching importance of this subject, we were prompted to carry out a prospective study, over 13 years, to identify risk factors. Our results highlight specific risk factors, and they may hence assist with the implementation of concrete primary prevention measures against dog bites. An information sheet was prepared and filled out during the intake of patients who had been bitten on the face. Data analysis was performed using Epi Info Version 6.04dfr software to find a correlation between the factors studied and the dog bite to the face. Dog bites to the face represented 0.83% of the emergency admissions to our service. A considerable majority of these involved children, with 68.5% of patients <16 years of age, and 33.3% of patients aged between 2 and 5 years. The wounds were multiple and of variable severity. The type of dog involved was frequently a German Shepherd. Strikingly, 91.3% of bites had occurred in a single-parent environment. Our study has determined that the fundamental factors that increase the probability of a dog bite to the face are as follows: the child being 2-5 years old, a single-parent context, and involvement of a German Shepherd-type dog. Copyright © 2015 British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
 
This review aims to compare bone grafts and different biomaterials for reconstruction of craniofacial bones in congenital defects, after trauma, and after tumour surgery. A Pubmed search was performed and publications over the last 11 years describing reconstructions of craniofacial bones in non-load-bearing areas were reviewed. Only human studies using bone grafts and biomaterials were included. Studies on skull base reconstruction, distraction osteogenesis, free and pedicled bone flaps and bone-anchored epithesis were excluded. Out of 83 studies, three were prospective, 65 retrospective and 15 studies were case reports. There were seven comparative studies found and some efforts on statistical analysis were made. Except for a few studies, the statistical significant differences in outcomes were found to be related to size and location of bone defects rather than reconstruction method and biomaterial used. An increasing number of alloplastic materials have been available as alternatives to the gold standard autologous bone transplantation for craniofacial bone repair. Comparative studies with statistical analyses on differences in success rates between different biomaterials or bone grafts for specific indications are needed.
 
An 11-year-old girl with massive virginal breast hypertrophy is presented. The breasts had begun to grow rapidly at puberty and had reached an enormous size within a year, to the point of causing physical impairment and respiratory compromise. Routine blood chemistry and endocrine investigation was normal, as was an MRI scan of the pituitary fossa. A bilateral reduction mammaplasty with free nipple grafts was performed, removing 12.5 kg of tissue in all (24% of the total body weight). There was no recurrence at a 2 year follow up, and no requirement for additional surgery. A review of the literature reveals that breast regrowth is less frequent when free nipple grafting is used, and this technique is recommended for these extraordinary cases.
 
Polydactyly is a common congenital extremity deformity in live births. We describe a 3-month-old boy with 11-fingered polydactyly with cleft hand, an extremely rare hand anomaly. The patient was treated with excision of the supernumerary rays and metacarpals, closure of the cleft and removal of excess adipose tissue. Follow-up, lasting 3 years, showed satisfactory functional and aesthetic results. © 2010 British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
 
Purpura fulminans (PF) is a syndrome characterised by acute onset of rapidly progressive haemorrhagic necrosis of the skin due to dermal vascutar thrombosis, mainly occurring during meningococcal. sepsis. It occurs rarely in the course of infection with Streptococcus pneumoniae and most cases report Meningococcus as the causing agent. This is a case report of successful conservative limb-preserving management of PF and sepsis caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae in an 11 month-old girt. (c) 2006 The British Association of Plastic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
 
The incidence of the rare facial clefts is between 1.43 and 4.85 per 100.000 births.(1) We report a case of right associated Tessier no. 3, 7 and 11 craniofacial clefts with cardiac malformation. The epidemiology, classification, embryology and pathogenesis of each craniofacial. malformation are briefly reviewed. After an extensive review of the literature, we conclude that this association has not previously been reported. (c) 2006 The British Association of Plastic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
 
The quality of head and neck cancer reconstruction in England is not known. Hospital administrative data provides details of treatment within the English National Health Service and may be used for national outcomes analysis. An algorithm for identifying head and neck surgery with flap-based reconstruction from administrative data was constructed and validated against information from three cancer units. The validated algorithm was applied to 2003-2013 national activity. The algorithm was 91% sensitive and over 99% specific. Its application to administrative data identified 11,841 patients and demonstrated an increase of 52% in reconstruction-containing head and neck cancer surgery in the past decade. There were 7776 males and mean treatment age was 62 years. Oral cavity was the commonest primary site (n = 7567; 64%) and 7575 patients (64%) underwent primary surgery. The commonest procedure was floor-of-mouth excision (n = 3614) and 9749 patients had a neck dissection. The most commonly used flap was the radial forearm (n = 4429). Flap failure occurred in 496 (4.2%) patients. It increased the mean length of stay from 22 to 41 days (P < 0.00001), and the odds ratio of in-hospital death to 2.37 [95% confidence interval 1.66-3.38; P < 0.0001]. Lethality of reconstructive failure was not uniform and was highest when a pharyngolaryngeal flap failed. Reconstructive surgery is central to the multidisciplinary management of head and neck cancer. Its quality directly influences patient morbidity and survival. We recommend that analysis of hospital administrative data should be periodically carried out as part of an over-arching quality assurance programme and, particularly for pharyngolaryngeal reconstructions, surgery should be undertaken in units with the best reconstructive outcomes. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
 
Although guidelines for antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent surgical site infections (SSIs) exist, specific guidelines for plastic surgery are missing and there is a tendency towards excessive administration of antibiotics. A total of 1100 patients were prospectively studied according to an evidence-based protocol to investigate if limiting antibiotic prophylaxis to high-risk cases does increase the infection rate. Between April 2009 and April 2010, 1100 consecutive patients undergoing elective reconstructive or cosmetic procedures were enrolled. Procedures were classified into four groups, and prophylactic antibiotics were only administered perioperatively in 23.4% of cases, according to patient-related and procedure-related risk factors. The overall SSI incidence was 1.4% (1.1% for clean surgery and 3.8% for clean-contaminated surgery). Oral oncologic surgery showed the highest infection rate (5.3%). Specific guidelines are provided to encourage judicious use of antibiotics. Antibiotic prophylaxis is administered based on the type of operation and the patient's characteristics. No prophylaxis was carried out in superficial skin surgery and simple mucosal excisions. Antibiotic prophylaxis is always indicated in microsurgery, prosthetic surgery, incisional hernias, clean non-prosthetic osteoarticular surgery and clean-contaminated procedures such as oral cavity or genitourinary system. In clean surgery and rhinoplasty, antibiotic prophylaxis is only indicated when the operation lasts more than 3 h and/or the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score is 3 or more. With the protocol reported, the risk of infection can be kept very low, avoiding the negative effects of indiscriminate use of antibiotics.
 
Stress proteins represent a group of highly conserved intracellular proteins that provide adaptation against cellular stress. The present study aims to elucidate the stress protein-mediated effects of local hyperthermia and systemic administration of monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL) on oxygenation, metabolism and survival in bilateral porcine random pattern buttock flaps. Preconditioning was achieved 24h prior to surgery by applying a heating blanket on the operative site (n = 5), by intravenous administration of MPL at a dosage of 35 microg/kg body weight (n = 5) or by combining the two (n = 5). The flaps were monitored with laser Doppler flowmetry, polarographic microprobes and microdialysis until 5h postoperatively. Semiquantitative immunohistochemistry was performed for heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), heat shock protein 32 (also termed haem oxygenase-1, HO-1), and inducible nitrc oxide synthase (iNOS). The administration of MPL increased the impaired microcirculatory blood flow in the proximal part of the flap and partial oxygen tension in the the distal part by approximately 100% each (both P<0.05), whereas both variables remained virtually unaffected by local heat preconditioning. Lactate/pyruvate (L/P) ratio and glycerol concentration (representing cell membrane disintegration) in the distal part of the flap gradually increased to values of approximately 500 mmol/l and approximately 350 micromol/l, respectively (both P<0.01), which was substantially attenuated by heat application (P<0.01 for L/P ratio and P<0.05 for glycerol) and combined preconditioning (P<0.01 for both variables), whereas the effect of MPL was less marked (not significant). Flap survival was increased from 56% (untreated animals) to 65% after MPL (not significant), 71% after heat application (P<0.05) and 78% after both methods of preconditioning (P<0.01). iNOS and HO-1 were upregulated after each method of preconditioning (P<0.05), whereas augmented HSP70 staining was only observed after heat application (P<0.05). We conclude that local hyperthermia is more effective in preventing flap necrosis than systemic MPL administration because of enhancing the cellular tolerance to hypoxic stress, which is possibly mediated by HSP70, whereas some benefit may be obtained with MPL due to iNOS and HO-1-mediated improvement in tissue oxygenation.
 
The main aim in surgical hair restoration is to restore hair, making the scalp look natural. Interviews with earlier patients who received hair transplants revealed that their complaints were - a straight anterior hairline that looked unnatural, and hair that looked like 'sprouted grass'. The use of follicular unit transplantation (FUT) technique, where hair roots are harvested under magnification, is becoming widespread. In this technique, hair roots are harvested into natural follicular units that contain 1-4 hair roots. In this article, we present our results related to hair transplantation by FUT technique, performed on 120 patients between the ages of 21 and 75 years with male-pattern hair loss. We made simple yet useful interventions to avoid the occurrence of the above-mentioned problems. Initially, drawings based on the middle line and the two temporal regression points were made for a natural-looking anterior hairline. Following this, irregular seeding was done instead of seeding in rows, to obtain a natural hairline. To avoid the 'sprouted grass' look, single hair roots were placed on the anterior hairline taking into consideration the direction of hair growth. However, the FUT technique is not adequate on its own for natural-looking hair restoration. Good planning and creation of an anterior hairline suited to the individual's forehead structure is fundamental for successful results. In addition, we believe that hair texture is very important in hair transplantation and additional care should be given particularly to patients with dark-coloured and hard hair.
 
Established in 2012, the Mersey Regional Centre for Mohs Surgery is the first UK Mohs service to be led by a Mohs trained Plastic & Reconstructive surgeon. We evaluate the resection requirements and reconstructive techniques of our patient group and compare their surgical outcome to that which would have been gained with conventional excision (CE) and reconstruction for the same lesions. 157 patients were analysed over 13 months. Had CE and reconstruction been used, 56% of patients would have received a more invasive or cosmetically less desirable reconstruction, and 24% of margins would remain incomplete. The outcome was unchanged in 20% of patients. A small but significant subgroup (9%) of patients would have lost fundamental structures e.g. orbital exenteration, or undergone reconstructions unnecessarily crossing aesthetic subunits. Whilst in its infancy, the Plastic & Reconstructive Mohs surgery service has provided a valuable contribution to the care given to patients in the Mersey and Cheshire Skin Cancer Network. Detailed referral criteria, thorough preoperative patient evaluation, and appreciation of the abilities and limits of CE have enabled the service to produce a demonstrable reconstructive benefit in 80% of patients when compared to non-Mohs resection and reconstruction. Copyright © 2015 British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
 
The achievement of patency of the microvascular anastomosis in free flap surgery is dependent on a number of factors, central to which is atraumatic handling of the vessel lumen, and intimal apposition. Initial laboratory studies demonstrating the superiority of the non-penetrating vascular closure staple (VCS - Anastoclip ®) were followed by our report in 1999 on a series of free flaps. There is still a paucity of data in the literature on the use of non-penetrating devices for microvascular anastomosis, and our review gives evidence to support the routine use of the VCS in microsurgical free flap surgery. We now report on its successful use over a thirteen year period in 819 free flap reconstructions. Our data indicates the VCS device to be as effective as sutured anastomoses in free tissue transfer surgery. There is also statistically significant data (Barnard's Exact Test) to demonstrate a higher vascular patency rate of the VCS device over sutured anastomoses when sub group analysis is performed. 'Take-back' revision rates were lower amongst flaps that employed VCS use. For arterial anastomoses, this equated to 3/654(0.05%) vs 4/170(2.4%) with hand-sewn anastomoses (p = 0.02). Similarly, for venous anastomoses the 'take-back' revision rate was 7/661(1.1%) vs 8/165(4.8%) with hand-sewn anastomoses (p = 0.003). Furthermore, the major advantage of the VCS is reduction in anastomosis time, from approximately 25 min per anastomosis for sutures to between five and 10 min for staples.
 
In this case of a 3-year-old patient who had a left big-toe amputation through the proximal phalange, re-plantation was performed successfully. Big-toe amputations are not frequent entities, but it should always be re-planted to avoid unsatisfactory aesthetic and functional outcomes. There are just a few reports in literature and their follow-up is very brief compared with our report.
 
Background: There is a paucity of multi-institutional data that directly compares short term outcomes of autologous and prosthetic breast reconstruction. The National Surgical Quality Improvement Program provides a unique data platform for evaluating peri-operative outcomes of these two main categories of breast reconstruction. It has detailed data from nearly 250 hospitals and over 13,000 patients. We performed risk-adjusted analysis of prosthetic and autologous breast reconstruction to compare 30-day morbidity outcomes. Methods: Patients who underwent prosthetic breast reconstruction or autologous tissue reconstruction from 2006 to 2010 were identified using operation descriptions. Over 240 tracked variables were extracted for patients undergoing breast reconstruction. Thirty-day postoperative outcomes were compared, and subgroup analysis was performed on the autologous population to describe outcomes of specific flap procedures. Reconstruction was analyzed as an independent risk factor for specific complications, with propensity scores used to help standardize compared patient populations. Regression analyses were performed using SPSS (version 20.0, Chicago, IL). Results: A total of 13,082 patients underwent breast reconstruction; 9786 patients received prosthetic reconstruction and 3296 received autologous reconstruction. Within the autologous cohort, 1608 (48.8%) patients underwent a pedicle TRAM flap, 1079 (32.7%) had a LD flap, and 609 (18.5%) received a free flap. Autologous reconstruction patients had higher rates of overall complications (12.47% vs 5.38%, p<.001), wound infection (5.46% vs 3.45%, p<.001), prosthesis/flap failure (3.13% vs 0.85%, p<.001), and reoperation (9.59% vs 6.76%, p<.001). Risk-adjusted multivariate analysis also showed autologous reconstruction to be a significant independent predictor of specific short term outcomes. Conclusions: Using risk-adjusted models of a large multi-institutional database, we found that--relative to prosthetic reconstruction--autologous reconstruction had higher rates of 30-day overall complications, wound infection, prosthesis/flap failure, and reoperation. This may be due, in part, to a concomitant increase in operative time and higher case complexity. Taken with other reports such as NMBRA, this study helps to educate patients and surgeons alike on potential, comparative complications during the perioperative period.
 
One of the challenges facing our profession is the adequate training of plastic surgeons in the subspeciality of aesthetic surgery, in addition to covering the rest of the large curriculum. The UK's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, has recently called for better training for doctors, better information for patients, and a touger regulatory structure for private cosmetic surgery. In this study, we show that the training of cosmetic procedures in our unit has risen steadily over the 6 year period studied. As part of our committment to improving training, our unit has recently organised a 3 month block soely dedicated to aesthetic surgery, allowing increasing exposure to cosmetic clinics and theatre sessions. It is clear that as a group, we must continue to develop robust training schemes to produce plastic surgeons able to cope with the demands of 21st Century healthcare, and ensure that the public does not fall prey to practitioners in unregulated clinics.
 
The modern era of breast augmentation and reconstruction began in 1963, with the introduction of silicone implants by Cronin and Gerow. To date, the demand for cosmetic augmentation continues to increase exponentially. However, whilst the surgical techniques and quality of mammary prosthesis have improved dramatically in recent years, patients are still confronted with significant potential complications. We performed a retrospective study of 1400 consecutive primary breast augmentations performed between March 1995 and March 2009 by a single surgeon. We specifically examined the incidence of capsular contracture and the possible causative factors. Follow up ranged from 1 to 16 years. The mean age at the time of surgery was 32.8 years and fill volume was between 195 ml and 800 ml. Our capsular contracture rate was in the order of 26.9%. BMI >30, fill volumes >350 ml, smoking and alcohol consumption did not significantly increase capsular contracture rate. Implant type, pregnancy, infection and delayed haematoma significantly increased the risk of capsular contracture. Our series has given us a unique insight into the frequency of capsular contracture and identified several risk factors. To our knowledge, this is the first report of pregnancy having a significant effect on capsular contracture. We now counsel patients thoroughly into the detrimental effects of pregnancy on the implant.
 
Peri-areolar mastopexy is commonly used for mild ptosis requiring no more than 3cm of nipple elevation. The nature of areolar scar and gland remodelling inherent to a circular skin reduction prompts circumspection when correcting more moderate-to-severe cases. The purpose herein is to convey the reproducibility and applicability of the Goes double-skin peri-areolar mastopexy without mesh, for breast ptosis requiring nipple elevation of 4-9cm, in a series outside the work of the principal innovator. A series of 217 consecutive patients underwent circumareolar eccentric skin excision based on four cardinal landmarks, deepithelialised dermal sleeve and glandular reshaping with and without implants (174 augmentation-mastopexies and 43 mastopexies). Implantation and implant change involved the use of saline implants placed in the subpectoral space. Average nipple elevation was 5.1cm in the augmentation-mastopexy group and 6.5cm in the mastopexy group. There were major complications in 4.4% of breasts and occurred only in the mastopexy-augmentation group. There was no nipple loss, serious infection or haematoma. There were minor complications in 13.1% of breasts (11.8% in the mastopexy-augmentation group, and 18.6% in the mastopexy group). A minimal (10%) areolar necrosis occurred on a breast in one patient undergoing augmentation-mastopexy for tubular breasts with micromastia. Revision rate was 4% for the entire series. Based on the principles of circular skin design with fixed skin landmarks, internal breast shaping and special attention when augmentation is done simultaneously, the peri-areolar double-skin mastopexy can be safe, effective and reproducible when applied to cases of increasing complexity.
 
Accurate post operative assessment of free tissue transfers is challenging despite all the subjective and objective techniques available today. In our continual search to optimise patient outcomes, we introduced the Cook-Swartz probe into our clinical practice in May 2006. We present our single centre experience in 103 patients undergoing 121 microvascular breast reconstructions and monitored using implantable Cook-Swartz venous dopplers between May 2006 and January 2008. In total, we used 145 probes on 121 microvascular breast reconstructions (DIEP=102, SIEP=15, SGAP=4) in 103 female patients. The mean operative time was 4h and 55 min (mu=295; range 117-630; ó+/-101 min) and we suffered 2 complete flap losses. A problem with the audible signal was noted in 15 patients (4 intra-operatively). We revised 14 of the 15. All fourteen had compromised anastomoses. In the remaining case, the patient was not returned to theatre as the primary surgeon was confident there were no other signs of vascular compromise. Overall, when using the venous doppler probe we found a false positive rate of 6.7% and 0% false negatives. We advocate the use of a Cook-Swartz probe which has been well received by both surgeons, nursing staff and patients, as an adjunct to traditional clinical monitoring techniques. We also include a comprehensive experience based technical discussion concerning its application, attachment, use and post-operative removal.
 
This paper reviewed the outcome of cantilevered costochondral grafts used for dorsal nasal augmentation in the management of patients treated at the Australian Craniofacial Unit (ACFU), Adelaide over a 29-year period. All patients undergoing dorsal nasal augmentation with costochondral grafts as part of their craniofacial management between 1981 and 2009 were identified using the ACFU database, and their medical notes were reviewed. 107 patients (50M, 57F), with a mean age of 12.3 years (range: 2-62 years) and requiring a total of 150 costochondral grafts, were identified from the departmental database. Mean follow-up after nasal augmentation was 5.6 years (1 month-31.5 years). 46% of the patients were diagnosed with Binder syndrome/Chondrodysplasia punctata; other diagnoses included Tessier midline clefts, cleft lip and palate and frontonasal dysplasia. A dorsal midline incision (49%) was the commonest method of access, with 84% of patients having mini-screw fixation for graft stabilisation. Complications included screw palpability, infection, skin necrosis and graft fracture. The commonest reasons for a replacement graft were graft atrophy and fracture, infection and persistent deformity. Cantilevered nasal costochondral grafting is an excellent technique for improving nasal contour and function in a wide variety of clinical situations.
 
An analysis of peripheral and deep margins of histological clearance around 1539 consecutive basal cell carcinomas excised by conventional surgery showed that 81 lesions (5.3%) were incompletely excised peripherally; 36 lesions (2.3%) were incompletely excised deeply; 13 lesions (0.8%) were incompletely excised peripherally and deeply. Nine hundred and ninety-six lesions (65%) were excised with a peripheral histological clearance margin < 5 mm (0.1–4.9 mm), whereas 1303 lesions (85%) were excised with a deep histological clearance margin < 5 mm (0.1–4.9 mm). Four hundred and eight lesions (27%) had a peripheral histological clearance margin of 5.0–9.9 mm, whereas 170 lesions (11%) had a deep histological margin of 5.0–9.9 mm.
 
As training opportunities in cosmetic surgery become less frequent in teaching hospitals, this survey set out to examine the attitudes of patients towards extending this training into the independent health sector. We questioned 155 private patients, 95% of who were happy for trainees to sit in during their consultations. Of these, 85% were comfortable with the presence of the trainee throughout their appointments and 92% said they saw advantages in having such trainees present. However, patients were less enthusiastic about trainees carrying out procedures, under consultant supervision and for a reduced fee. The survey found that while 49% felt it was a good idea, only 32% would consider it for themselves. Seventeen percent of patients thought this offer alone was inappropriate. This survey has shown that while the vast majority of private patients supported and were happy to participate in higher surgical training during private consultations, fewer would consider the possibility of cosmetic surgery performed by supervised trainees for reduced fees. The implications of these findings for higher surgical training in Plastic Surgery in the UK are discussed.
 
To investigate relative indications for three different surgical techniques used in total ear reconstruction. A total of 1864 cases requiring complete ear reconstruction were performed. In 1485 cases reconstruction was effected by skin expansion and subsequent grafting of autogenous rib cartilage frameworks. In 355 cases skin expansion was followed by insertion of a Medpor framework. Twenty-four cases were repaired with titanium dowel retained prosthesis. Clinical results of these three surgical techniques were evaluated. All three methods were successfully used in total ear reconstruction and showed a satisfactory appearance. For patients less than 30 years old and with intact mastoid skin, the rib cartilage grafting methods were preferred. A Medpor framework was suitable for cases over 30 years old, despite the appearance of mild inflammation in the skin flap. We resorted to a prosthetic reconstruction in patients whose mastoid skin was seriously damaged when they were unwilling to accept more complex methods of ear reconstruction. The three methods described provide satisfactory clinical results and are each indicated for specific patient cohorts.
 
The use of acellular dermal matrix (ADM) in implant based breast reconstruction has become increasingly popular to the point that a subset of surgeons use ADM for virtually every tissue expander/implant based reconstruction. While there may be a number of perceived and anecdotal advantages such as decreased post-operative pain, increased initial expander fill volume, and improved aesthetic outcome, it remains unclear as to whether there is sufficient evidence to support these as well as other claims or its routine use. In this review, we identified all papers in the PubMed and Medline databases that addressed outcomes of the use of ADM in single and multiple staged implant based breast reconstruction. Papers were evaluated for any claim of benefit in using ADM in breast reconstruction. The following perceived advantages were supported solely by anecdotal reports and opinions: reduction in post-op pain, decreased operative time, precise control of the lateral and IMF, maximal use of mastectomy skin flaps, and improved lower pole expansion. There was inconsistent data for commonly perceived advantages, such as: eliminating the need for expanders, increased initial fill volumes, fewer expansions, faster time to reconstruction completion, decreased rate of revision, and improved aesthetic outcome. We found consistent support for a decreased incidence of capsular contracture; however the existing reports have limited long term follow-up. Despite the many heralded benefits of ADM in breast reconstruction, the data supporting these claims is mostly anecdotal. Both long term outcomes and randomized controlled prospective studies are needed in order to definitively evaluate the perceived advantages of ADM in breast reconstruction.
 
Reconstruction of the human ear with a bone-anchored prosthesis is a widely accepted alternative when autologous reconstruction is technically impossible or declined by the individual. However, there are relatively few data in the literature documenting patient satisfaction with this form of reconstruction. This study examines different aspects of patient satisfaction using an eighteen-point postal questionnaire to measure patient outcomes against a Likert rating scale. The questionnaire was sent to 33 patients who completed prosthetic ear reconstruction over a 16 year period at a specialist plastic surgery unit in the United Kingdom. Medical case notes for these cases were also reviewed. Twenty completed questionnaires were returned. The response rate was 61%. The majority of patients were satisfied with the aesthetics, ease of handling and comfort of the bone-anchored implant and prosthesis. However, the majority of patients was only moderately satisfied or was dissatisfied with this method of reconstruction. Specifically, 15 of the respondents reported skin problems around the abutments of the bone-anchored implant with 10 patients reporting ongoing skin complications. Granulation tissue was the most common skin problem (12 cases) followed by local infection (10 cases). Interestingly, despite the chronic skin problems, most patients indicated that they would undergo the same procedure again or would recommend it to others. Our survey shows that patients fitted with a Branemark-type bone-anchored implant for ear reconstruction are pleased with the aesthetic appearance but experience multiple, chronic, skin complications and other implant related problems. These affect their satisfaction with this method of reconstruction. Our findings may have significant implications for patients and surgeons considering this form of reconstruction and for the institutions making decisions about funding this treatment.
 
Free latissimus dorsi musculocutaneous flap transfer is one of the surgical methods for treating the difficult problem of chronic osteomyelitis of the tibia. We evaluated the viability of the flap and the influence on the bone in a patient at 16 years after surgery by using X-ray films, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging.
 
The aim of this study was to present our experience with reanimation of facial palsy (FP) following tumor extirpation in pediatric patients and to analyze the functional outcomes based on different types of procedures performed considering demographic and electrophysiological data of the patients. Sixteen patients with FP post-tumor extirpation who underwent facial reanimation were reviewed. Three independent assessors evaluated the preoperative and postoperative videos using the Terzis' grading scale for eye closure, smile, depressor and overall esthetic and functional outcomes. Preoperative and postoperative electromyographic interpretations and the effect of demographic variables were also evaluated. There was significant improvement in all the patients regarding overall esthetic and functional outcomes (p < 0.0001). Good and excellent overall esthetic and functional outcomes were observed in 62.50% of the patients (n = 10). The difference between preoperative and postoperative EMG results was of statistical significance (p < 0.0001 for each target re-innervated). Better results were observed in younger patients (≤10 years) (p = 0.014) and in early cases (denervation time ≤2 years) (p = 0.033). Functional results were significantly better if surgery was performed within 2 years and the patient was younger than 10 years. Augmentation of the paretic facial musculature in pediatric patients with post-tumor FP was feasible with the use of dynamic and/or static procedures. Advanced microsurgical techniques, such as the use of free muscle transfers, should be kept in mind in late cases (denervation time over 2 years).
 
There is no agreement regarding a staging system and optimal treatment of Merkel cell carcinoma. Some centres have reported results from larger series of patients, but these do not include Asian or Japanese centres. The purpose of this study was to retrospectively review our experience with the surgical treatment of MCC of the face in the Japanese and to study its management and outcome using the staging system described by Clark et al. We report our experiences with 16 cases between 1991 and 2004. Patients and tumour characteristics, treatment variables and outcome were analysed. The follow-up periods ranged from 1 to 180 months. The average was 32.6 months and the median was 17.5 months. The relapse-free survival for all patients was 51% at 2 years. The relapse-free survival was 80% for the patients with Stage I and 33% with Stage II at 2 years. This staging system was suggested to reflect prognosis although the number of patients in this series was small. Sentinel lymph node biopsy should be considered to determine the accurate nodal staging, and patients with MCC of the head and neck may be treated according to the revised staging system by Clark et al.
 
Actinomycosis of head and neck are secondary to a nidus in the oral cavity and the aero-digestive tract. Primary actinomycosis without such predisposition is mostly due to trauma. We are presenting a case of this rare variant involving the forehead. The patient had a swelling over the forehead after a windscreen injury, which was asymptomatic for 17 years. However, 1 year ago, there was a repeat blunt trauma on the same site, but there was no breach of skin. Following this, the swelling became tender and started increasing in size. There was no response to a course of antibiotic and the patient had no concomitant history of any systemic illness. The swelling was excised and the biopsy revealed actinomycosis. This presentation of primary actinomycosis after such a long dormancy has never been reported before. This is yet another unusual presentation of actinomycosis, which is notoriously misdiagnosed owing to its rarity and numerous differential diagnoses.
 
The current report describes a case of a 16-year-old girl with a rare combination of nasal dysmorphology, anonychia and brachydactyly of hands and feet. The combination of hand and nasal malformations suggested a type B brachydactyly. Genetic investigation, however, revealed Cooks syndrome with unexplained facial dysmorphology. Concerning her cosmetic complaints, options for surgical treatment were discussed. It was decided to treat only the nasal deformity by open rhinoplasty, leaving the nail deformities undisturbed.
 
Top-cited authors
Stan M Monstrey
  • Ghent University
Koenraad Van Landuyt
  • Ghent University
Gemma Pons
  • Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau
Nathalie Roche
  • Universitair Ziekenhuis Ghent
Takumi Yamamoto
  • National Center for Global Health and Medicine in Japan