Full-thickness skin graft from the groin for coverage of the radial forearm free flap donor site

University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States
American Journal of Otolaryngology (Impact Factor: 0.98). 09/2007; 28(5):325-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjoto.2006.10.009
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study is to describe the use of a full-thickness skin graft from the groin for coverage of the radial forearm free flap donor site. Our hypothesis is that the use of the full-thickness skin graft decreases morbidity and improves functional and cosmetic outcome at the skin graft donor site while also providing excellent coverage of the forearm donor site.
This study used a retrospective chart review design.
Patients undergoing radial forearm free flap reconstructions from 1995 to 2005 were included. Forty patients underwent radial forearm free flap reconstruction with closure of the forearm donor site with a full-thickness skin graft harvested from the groin. The inguinal donor site was closed primarily. Medical records including clinic notes, operative reports, and photographs were reviewed.
There was 1 minor wound dehiscence at the groin site, and there were 5 minor forearm wound dehiscences with 2 cases of tendon exposure; all dehiscences were treated conservatively with local wound care. Both the groin wound and forearm donor sites healed satisfactorily in all cases, with no impairment of function related to the skin graft. All patients expressed satisfaction with the postoperative pain, functional outcome, and cosmetic appearance related to both the skin graft and forearm donor sites.
Full-thickness skin graft from the groin for coverage of the radial forearm free flap donor site is an effective, safe alternative to the traditional split thickness skin graft.

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    • "Likewise, STSG requires much more effort in terms of postoperative care of the donor site3. FTSG offers the advantages of superb esthetics4, less postoperative shrinkage, and minimal postoperative pain and scar formation through primary closure compared to STSG5,6. Nonetheless, the size of FTSG is relatively limited, and there is a possibility of graft failure due to the thickness of the graft7. "
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    ABSTRACT: Full thickness skin grafts (FTSG) offer several advantages; they are esthetically superb, have less postoperative shrinkage, and offer minimal postoperative pain and scar formation at the donor site. As a donor site of FTSG, the groin offers a relatively large area of skin with high elasticity. The aim of this study was to evaluate FTSG from the groin for reconstruction in oral and maxillofacial surgery. In a retrospective study, 50 patients (27 males, 23 females) who received FTSG from the groin were evaluated for their operation records, clinical photography, and medical records. The width of skin from the groin was distributed from 2-8 cm (mean: 5.1 cm) at the donor site, while the long axis length was distributed from 3-13 cm (mean: 7.4 cm). A high number of patients, 47 patients (94%) out of 50, showed good healing at the donor site. Wound impairment was seen in 3 patients (6%), minor wound dehiscence in 2 patients, and severe wound dehiscence in 1 patient. In the recipient site, delayed healing was observed in 2 patients (4%). FTSG from the groin to repair soft tissue defects in reconstruction surgery is a good method due to the relatively big size of the graft, decreasing morbidity at the donor site, and higher graft survival rates.
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