Anterior Neck Resurfacing Using Multiple Free Flaps in Patients With Burn Sequelae of the Anterior Neck and Chest.
Background: It has been established that patients with burn sequelae of the anterior neck and chest have a significant degree of flap descent and deficit in neck extension when resurfaced with a single free flap. A protocol was developed to avoid flap descent in these patients by resurfacing the neck with multiple free flaps. The purpose of this article is to present our protocol for treatment and long-term results of this technique.
Methods: Twenty-five 25 patients with burn sequelae of the anterior neck and anterior thorax were retrospectively identified. Ten patients were treated with a single free flap (group 1), and 15 patients were treated with multiple free flaps (group 2). Patients were followed up for an average of 7 years after their definitive reconstructive procedure at which time measurements including flap descent from sternal notch, deficit of neck extension, and subjective reports of discomfort were obtained.
Results: Patients in group 1 demonstrated 8 cm (interquartile range [IQR], 1.75 cm) of flap descent, whereas patients in group 2 demonstrated 0.5 cm (IQR, 0 cm) of flap descent. Patients in group 1 demonstrated 12.5 degrees (IQR, 10 degrees) of deficit in neck extension, whereas patients in group 2 demonstrated 0 degrees (IQR, 0 degrees) of deficit in neck extension. Analysis demonstrated significantly greater descent and deficit in neck extension in group 1 compared with group 2.
Conclusions: Patients with burn sequelae of the neck and anterior chest experience less flap descent and deficits in neck extension when resurfaced with multiple free flaps.