Free-flap reconstruction of large defects of the scalp and calvarium

D. G. Pennington*, K. K. Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


Beyond a certain size, full-thickness defects of scalp are not amenable to local flap repair. Staged distant flaps have now been virtually eliminated by free-flap reconstruction. The authors present 12 patients in whom full-thickness scalp defects with an average area of 275 cm2 were reconstructed utilizing free flaps. Nine patients had corresponding large calvarial defects. Ten patients had reconstruction with free latissimus dorsi muscle flaps and overlying skin grafts, and one patient had reconstruction with a scapular free flap. Of the 12 patients, 8 had extirpative surgery for tumor with immediate reconstruction and the remaining 4 had reconstruction for chronic radionecrosis of the scalp, usually associated with infected osteoradionecrosis of the calvarium. Of this latter group, 2 patients underwent simultaneous acrylic cranioplasty. The technique and results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-661
Number of pages7
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


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