Introduction: Hemifacial microsomia
is the most common congenital disorder of the face after cleft lip and palate. While treatment of the bony abnormalities has been well documented, less attention has been paid to correction of the soft tissue deformity. This study aimed to systematically review the literature addressing the techniques utilized to correct the soft tissue deformity in hemifacial microsomia
Materials and Methods:
A comprehensive review of peer-reviewed literature regarding the management of soft tissue reconstruction in patients with hemifacial microsomia
was performed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses statement. Odds ratio was used to assess differences in complication rates between reconstructions performed with free tissue transfer and fat grafting.
The literature search yielded 38 articles that were fully reviewed for data extraction. Articles were grouped into one of 5 reconstructive modalities—pedicled flap, microvascular free tissue transfer, structural fat grafting, alloplastic implant, and functional reconstruction. Microvascular free tissue transfer had a complication rate of 27.1%, while structural fat grafting had a complication rate of 4.2% (odds ratio 6.7, P
Microvascular free tissue transfer likely provides greater volume than fat grafting at the cost of a higher complication rate. Mild to moderate soft tissue deformity can be corrected with serial fat grafting. However, severe soft tissue deformity is better corrected with microvascular free tissue transfer. When performing free tissue transfer, one should be prepared for recipient vessel anomalies. To provide adequate augmentation with isolated fat grafting, multiple sessions are likely required.