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Journal Club
Sept/Oct 2014

Free Tissue Transfer for Head and Neck ReconstructionA Contemporary Review

Journal Club PowerPoint Slide Download
Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 2Division of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • 3Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of California, San Francisco
  • 4Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio
  • 5Microvascular Reconstruction Program, Departments of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery and Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, Oregon Health and Sciences University, Portland
JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2014;16(5):367-373. doi:10.1001/jamafacial.2014.323

Microvascular free tissue transfer is used for complex composite tissue defects in previously treated fields, in particular after treatment of malignant disease. The increasing incidence of skin cancer in the general population has increased the number of patients with massive tumors that require the expertise of the free flap reconstructive surgeon. We herein examine a number of the recent advances in the field that use free tissue transfer for orbitomaxillary and scalp reconstruction, including maxillary reconstruction, virtual surgical planning in head and neck reconstruction, and scalp reconstruction. Advanced computer algorithms allow planning of these procedures at a savings of time and cost. Free tissue transfer is a reconstructive modality that is often at the top of the reconstructive ladder and, in some instances, is the reconstructive method of choice. The ability to harvest composite tissue that matches the tissue defect in composition, surface area, and volume makes free tissue transfer a versatile modality.