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BACKGROUND: The radial forearm free flap (RFFF) is widely used in reconstructive surgery. Traditional donor-site closure by grafting may be associated with significant aesthetic and functional morbidity. We report our experience with primary closure using a local hatchet flap. METHODS: In all, 45 consecutive patients who underwent RFFF reconstruction in the head and neck during an 8-year period were retrospectively assessed with regards to their donor-site morbidity. RESULTS: The mean age of the patients was 54, with 23 being female. The mean RFFF area harvested was 37.7 cm; mean width, 7.6 cm (5.5-11 cm); and mean length, 4.7 cm (3.5-6.5 cm). All patients had their donor site closed primarily utilizing a local hatchet flap. At the time of follow-up, there were 33 surviving patients, of which 31 patients were available for assessment. CONCLUSIONS: We recommend this technique of primary closure of the RFFF donor site: it is well tolerated by the patient, with good cosmesis and is associated with no discernable functional morbidity.

Original publication

DOI

10.1097/sap.0b013e3182321ba0

Type

Journal article

Journal

Annals of plastic surgery

Publication Date

03/2013

Volume

70

Pages

308 - 312

Addresses

Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, West Wing, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Keywords

Forearm, Humans, Head and Neck Neoplasms, Tissue and Organ Harvesting, Treatment Outcome, Reconstructive Surgical Procedures, Skin Transplantation, Retrospective Studies, Follow-Up Studies, Esthetics, Graft Survival, Adult, Aged, Middle Aged, Tissue Donors, Patient-Centered Care, Female, Male, Free Tissue Flaps