The authors have performed mock facial transplantation by harvesting total facial-scalp flaps from donors and transferring them to recipient cadavers.
A total of 10 fresh human cadavers were dissected. In the donor, the authors have measured the time of facial-scalp flap harvesting, and the length of the arterial and venous pedicles and sensory nerves that were included in the facial flaps. In the recipient, the authors have evaluated the time of facial skin harvest as a monobloc full-thickness graft, the anchoring regions for the inset of the donor facial flaps, and the time sequences for the vascular pedicle anastomoses and nerve coaptations.
In the donor cadaver, the mean harvesting time of the total facial-scalp flap harvest was 235.62 ± 21.94 minutes. The mean length of the supraorbital, infraorbital, mental, and great auricular nerves was 1.5 ± 0.15, 2.46 ± 0.25, 3.02 ± 0.31, and 6.11 ± 0.42 cm, respectively. The mean length of the external carotid artery, the facial vein, and external jugular vein was 5 ± 0.32, 3.15 ± 0.32, and 5.78 ± 0.5 cm, respectively. In the recipient cadaver, the mean harvesting time of facial skin as a monobloc full-thickness graft was 47.5 ± 3.53 minutes. The mean time for the preparation of the arterial and venous pedicles and sensory nerves for the future anastomoses and coaptation was 30 ± 0 minutes. The mean time for facial flap anchoring was 22.5 ± 3.53 minutes. The total mean time of facial mock transplantation without vessels and nerve repair was 320 ± 7.07 minutes (5 hours 20 minutes).
Based on anatomical dissections in this cadaver study, the authors have estimated the time and sequence of facial flap harvest and inset to mimic the clinical scenario of the facial transplantation procedure.