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The Effect of Microneedling with a Roller Device on the Viability of Random Skin Flaps in Rats

Baris, Ruser M.D.; Kankaya, Yuksel M.D.; Ozer, Kadri M.D.; Kocer, Ruya Gokhan Ph.D.; Bektas, Cem Inan M.D.; Karatas, Arzu M.D.; Kocer, Ugur M.D.; Koca, Gokhan M.D.; Astarci, Hesna Muzeyyen M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: May 2013 - Volume 131 - Issue 5 - p 1024–1034
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3182879edf
Experimental: Original Articles

Background: In a random pattern skin flap, distal flap necrosis occurs as a result of inadequate blood flow. Microneedling with a handheld roller device is a new treatment modality, especially for facial rejuvenation. In this study, the authors used microneedling to increase flap viability.

Methods: Forty adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into two groups of 20. The study group was exposed to McFarlane flap elevation and repositioning. The microneedling procedure was performed four times: 3 days before, on the day of, and on the third and sixth days after surgery. The control group was only exposed to surgery. The skin flap necrosis area was measured on the seventh postoperative day topographically by digital imaging and scintigraphy. After determination of necrosis area, the amount of neovascularization and number of vascular structures within the papillary dermal layer were counted histopathologically.

Results: The mean percentages of necrosis in the flap area as determined by the Digimizer analysis program were 37.51 ± 5.08 in the control group and 29.42 ± 7.37 in the study group. The mean percentages of flap necrosis of the control group and the study group as determined by radionuclide scintigraphy were 31.4 ± 4.1 and 22.8 ± 5.0, respectively. The comparison of flap necrosis percentages showed that the study group had significantly lower values (p < 0.001). Vessel counts in the study group also showed significant increase (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: The authors’ study showed that the microneedling method applied directly on the flap could be a faster, safer, and more effective therapy modality to increase flap viability.

Yozgat, Ankara, Istanbul, and Karaman, Turkey; and Geneva, Switzerland

From Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgery Clinic, Yozgat State Hospital; Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgery Clinic and Departments of Nuclear Medicine and Pathology, Ankara Research and Training Hospital; Department of Sociology, University of Geneva; Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgery Clinic, Bakirkoy Dr. Sadi Konuk Research and Training Hospital; and Dermatalogy Clinic, Karaman State Hospital.

Received for publication July 28, 2012; accepted November 19, 2012.

Disclosure: The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article. No external funding was received.

Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgery Clinic, Ankara Research and Training Hospital, 06100 Ankara, Turkey, kadriozer@hotmail.com

©2013American Society of Plastic Surgeons