To describe a novel use of a radial forearm free flap (RFFF) for soft tissue coverage over a cochlear implant
(CI) in a post-irradiated field.
Single patient case report of a woman with a history of radiation
therapy for brainstem astrocytoma who suffered from repeated CI extrusion despite tympanomastoid obliteration and locoregional pedicled flap soft tissue coverage.
Sequential bilateral, single-staged revision cochlear implantation with RFFF soft tissue coverage.
Main Outcome Measure(s):
Postoperative wound healing complications including infection or device extrusion.
There have been no further issues with wound healing, infection, or device extrusion with a follow up period of 3 years on one side and 8 months on the second side. Both CIs are functioning well with the flaps being sufficiently thin to allow for the use of typical external processor magnets.
A RFFF can be used to provide robust soft tissue coverage over a CI in a post-irradiated field. The RFFF and CI may safely be performed in a single operation.