The Utility of Hyaluronidase for the Free and Pedicle Flap Salvage : Journal of Craniofacial Surgery

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The Utility of Hyaluronidase for the Free and Pedicle Flap Salvage

Park, Tae Hwan MD, PhD

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The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery 34(3):p 1058-1060, May 2023. | DOI: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000008936


Hyaluronidase is commonly used to treat swelling and hematoma for aesthetic and reconstructive purposes. It has also been reported as a stimulator of angiogenesis. The purpose of this study was to introduce the utility of hyaluronidase in patients with flap compromise after free and pedicle flap reconstructions. This study was a retrospective study of 1 case of radial forearm free flap salvage, 2 cases of keystone perforator flap salvage, and 1 case of pectoralis major myocutaneous flap salvage. A radial forearm free flap reconstruction of unilateral mouth floor and tongue defect was complicated with hematoma formation on a postoperative day 1 after taking clopidogrel due to acute-onset non–ST-elevation myocardial infarction but dramatically resolved with hyaluronidase injection into the flap and contralateral unaffected tongue. After this intervention, the flap color dramatically returned to normal and became soft without further treatments. Two keystone design perforator flaps were performed to reconstruct the sacral defect after the debridement of pressure ulcers. Two cases were related to the patients’ medical conditions, such as low platelet count caused by liver cirrhosis. We also salvaged pectoralis major myocutaneous flap in a 91-year-old female patient with large breasts. This study introduced our experience of salvaging the free and pedicled flaps using hyaluronidase. Hyaluronidase is an excellent option when arterial or venous insufficiency occurs after free and perforator flap surgeries.

Copyright © 2022 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD

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