Post-burn cicatricle contractures of neck pose a challenge for plastic and reconstructive surgeons. To improve functional and cosmetic results, and to minimize the donor-site morbidity, we use pre-expanded cervico-acromial fasciocutaneous flap based on the supraclavicular artery as a feasible choice for resurfacing large skin defects of the neck.
In this series, from 2008 to 2012, 18 patients with ages ranging between 11 and 42 years (20 flaps with 2 patients in bilateral fashion) suffering from post-burn scar contractures of the neck were treated. In the first stage, an expander was implanted on the deep fascia layer of the cervico-acromial region; 600 to 800 mL of saline was then injected during a 10- to 16-week period. In the second stage after expansion, sufficient skin and tissue was obtained to resurface the defects of the neck after releasing the contractures and excision of post-burn scars.
All 20 flaps healed primarily with good functional and cosmetic results. The maximum size was 23 × 16 cm, whereas the minimum was 20 × 8 cm. After an average follow-up time of 12 months, significant improvement in range of motion with good esthetic outcomes were achieved, and the scars in donor sites seemed acceptable. There ware no significant complications.
The pre-expanded cervico-acromial fasciocutaneous flap based on the supraclavicular artery can provide a large amount of thin tissue with both good color and texture, and without the need for microsurgery, and avoid the disadvantages of donor-site morbidity. This flap is reliable and safe for resurfacing large skin defects of the neck.