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Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia

Print version ISSN 0365-0596


CAMACHO-MARTINEZ, Francisco Miguel et al. Free flaps in Surgical Dermatology: comparison between fasciocutaneous and myocutaneous free flaps in facial reconstructions. An. Bras. Dermatol. [online]. 2011, vol.86, n.6, pp.1145-1150. ISSN 0365-0596.

BACKGROUND: Dermatologic surgeons routinely harvest pedicled flaps at distance with an axial or random pattern to repair facial defects. These types of skin flaps are time-consuming and have high economic, social and personal costs. These drawbacks could be avoided with the introduction of a single-step transfer of free flaps to the recipient site, with microvascular anastomosis. OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate that better results are obtained with myocutaneous or fasciocutaneous free flaps and which one is more suitable in surgical dermatology. MATERIAL AND METHODS: We selected two patients of opposite sexes and similar ages who had undergone Mohs surgery to remove recurrent malignant tumors that were located in the upper cheek bordering the zygomatic zone. The woman was treated with a fasciocutaneous radial free flap and the man with a rectus abdominis free flap. RESULTS: Both patients had excellent immediate postoperative outcomes. Complications observed in the male patient were related to a previous pulmonary alteration. The fasciocutaneous radial free flap reconstruction was easier to perform than the rectus abdominis free flap; nevertheless, the radial free flap is very thin and, although the palmaris longus tendon is used, it does not yield enough volume, requiring later use of implants. In contrast, the rectus abdominis free flap transfers a wide flap with enough fat tissue to expand in the future. As for the cosmetic results regarding the donor site, the rectus abdominis free flap produces better-looking scars, since secondary defects of the palmar surface cannot be directly closed and usually require grafting - a situation that some patients do not accept. CONCLUSIONS: In surgical dermatology, each case, once the tumor has been extirpated, requires its own reconstructive technique. The radial free flap is suitable for thin patients who are willing to cover their arm with a shirt. The rectus abdominis free flap is best suited for obese patients with deep and voluminous defects, although it is necessary to dislocate the navel from its original position

Keywords : Mohs surgery; Muscle development; Surgical flaps.

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