Ruomeng Yang, M. Zang, Shan Zhu
Nov 24, 2022
The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery
This study aimed to describe the application of transferring preexpanded forehead flaps based on the supratrochlear and supraorbital arteries in 3 patterns for facial reconstruction: Pattern I, interpolated flap; Pattern II, island flap; and Pattern III, propeller flap, which was subdivided into direct propeller flap (Pattern IIIa) and indirect propeller flap (Pattern IIIb). During the first stage, a tissue expander was inserted underneath the forehead. After sufficient inflation of the expander, a forehead flap based on the supratrochlear or supraorbital artery was elevated and transferred to reconstruct the facial defects. Three weeks after the surgery, pedicle division was performed, in which Pattern I and Pattern IIIb flaps were used. Twenty-four patients underwent facial reconstruction. Twenty-three flaps survived without any perfusion-related complications. Venous congestion developed in an island flap. All patients were followed up after surgery, ranging from 2 to 156 (mean, 19) months. The color and texture of the flap matched those of the adjacent skin. The patients and their families were satisfied with the final functional and esthetic outcomes. The forehead flap based on the supratrochlear and supraorbital arteries provides reliable coverage of facial defects. The conventional interpolated flap continues to be the most dependable. Single-stage reconstruction using the island flap and direct propeller flap is applicable to patients who decline the pedicle division procedure. The novel technique of using the indirect propeller flap is safe for cheek reconstruction with minimal donor-site morbidity and esthetically pleasing results.