Reconstruction of defects after excision of facial skin cancer using a venous free flap

Sang Woo Park, Eun Phil Heo, Jae Hoon Choi, Ho Chan Cho, Sang Hyon Kim, Lianji Xu, Yoonho Lee, Tae Hyun Choi, Suk Wha Kim

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After extensive excision of skin cancer on the face, or when skin cancer is located on the 3-dimensional structures of the face, reconstruction with a local flap can be impossible, or clinicians are reluctant to reconstruct defects with a skin graft because of postoperative contraction, hyperpigmentation, or other complication. Instead, an arterialized venous free flap can be used as an alternative method of reconstruction to prevent distortion and recurrence. Eight patients underwent surgery with an arterialized venous-free flap. We evaluated the cosmetic results using ordinary scale methods on the basis of 4 categories (color, contour, texture, and distortion of surrounding structures) and recurrence and metastases of skin cancer physically. The follow-up period ranged between 24 and 48 months, with an average of 33 months. All of the soft-tissue defects made by excising the tumor were reconstructed with good outcomes, except for 1 case. Regarding the cosmetic evaluation, the color was fair, the contour and texture were good, absence of distortion of surrounding structures was excellent, and the overall results in most all cases were good. There were no recurrences or metastases during the follow-up period. The arterialized venous free flap is an alternative plan among several reconstruction methods when skin cancer on the face is extensively excised.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)608-611
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Plastic Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2011


  • facial reconstruction
  • venous-free flap

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