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The Use of Artificial Dermis in the Reconstruction of Oncologic Surgical Defects

Tufaro, Anthony P. D.D.S., M.D.; Buck, Donald W. II B.S.; Fischer, Anne C. M.D., Ph.D.

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery:
doi: 10.1097/01.prs.0000270298.68331.8a
Reconstructive: Head and Neck: Original Articles

Background: Integra dermal substitute has been used in burn reconstruction with great success. Its use in general reconstruction is currently being reported. The authors set out to evaluate the utility of Integra in the reconstruction and resurfacing of defects created by tumor excision.

Methods: Since 2003, 17 patients with soft-tissue tumors involving the head and neck, lower extremity, and anterior chest wall underwent tumor resection and reconstruction with Integra dermal substitute. These patients were followed and clinical outcomes were assessed.

Results: Seventeen patients with a mean age of 54 ± 21 years underwent tumor resection and reconstruction with Integra dermal substitute. Twelve patients (71 percent) were male and five (29 percent) were female. Twelve cases (71 percent) involved recurrent tumor resection. The 17 cases involved 10 different tumor types at six different anatomical locations. The mean defect size was 172 ± 260 cm2 (range, 20 to 1080 cm2). The second stage of the reconstruction occurred on postoperative day 23 ± 6. The mean follow-up was 12.3 ± 7.2 months (range, 3 to 26 months). Clinically, 16 patients had 100 percent take of skin grafts and one patient had approximately 97 percent take of his graft. All patients experienced excellent defect contouring and cosmesis.

Conclusions: Artificial bilaminate acellular dermis is an excellent option for reconstructing defects created by tumor resection and can be used in a wide variety of locations. It is especially useful in large defects that usually require flaps for coverage. Patients experience minimal donor-site morbidity and have outstanding cosmetic and functional results.

Author Information

Baltimore, Md.

From the Divisions of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Pediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Received for publication October 9, 2005; accepted March 10, 2006.

Anthony P. Tufaro, D.D.S., M.D., Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 601 North Caroline Street, 8130-D McElderry, Baltimore, Md. 21287,

©2007American Society of Plastic Surgeons