Background: Loss of hair-bearing regions of the face caused by trauma, tumor resection, or burn presents a difficult reconstructive task for plastic surgeons. The ideal tissue substitute should have the same characteristics as the facial area affected, consisting of thin, pliable tissue with a similar color match and hair-bearing quality.
Methods: This is a retrospective study of 34 male patients who underwent reconstruction of hair-bearing facial regions performed by the senior author (J.J.P.). Local and pedicled flaps were used primarily to reconstruct defects after tumor extirpation, trauma, infections, and burns. Two patients had irradiation before reconstruction. Two patients had prior facial reconstruction with free flaps.
Results: The authors found that certain techniques of reconstructing defects in hair-bearing facial regions were more successful than others in particular facial regions and in different sizes of defects.
Conclusion: The authors were able to develop a simple algorithm for management of facial defects involving the hair-bearing regions of the eyebrow, sideburn, beard, and mustache that may prospectively aid the planning of reconstructive strategy in these cases.