Use of autologous skin equivalents with artificial dermal matrix (Integra) in donor site coverage in radial forearm free flaps: preliminary cases

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ISSN: 0278-2391 (print)
ISSN: 1531-5053 (online)
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WB Saunders
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Purpose: The radial forearm flap is one of the most commonly used methods for intraoral reconstruction in oral carcinoma surgery. One of its disadvantages is the residual functional and unaesthetic defect in the donor site. The objective of this report is to describe preliminary cases of a novel method to cover such donor sites based on the use of autologous skin equivalents (ASEs) and an artificial dermal matrix (Integra, Prim, Barcelona, Spain). Materials and Methods: The donor sites of 2 patients were treated with the artificial dermal matrix after raising a radial forearm flap. A skin biopsy and a blood sample were taken to construct an ASE. After 3 weeks, the ASE was applied over the dermal template and left to heal. The functional and esthetic results were recorded. Results: Good functional and esthetic results were achieved, with correct wrist motility, although a natural skin color could not be achieved. Neither the Integra nor the ASE was rejected. Total wound coverage was achieved at 4 months, and completely normal skin was observed at 6 months. Conclusions: This technique of combining an artificial dermal matrix with an ASE could be an alternative method to cover the donor sites of radial forearm flaps.
Reconstruction, Scaffold, Closure
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Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, (2012), 70(10), 2453-2458