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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in: Plastic surgery international.


The published version is available at DOI: 10.1155/2011/941742.

Copyright © 2011 William J. Parkes et al.


Objective. To detail the clinical outcomes of a series of patients having undergone free flap reconstruction of the orbit and periorbita and highlight the anterolateral thigh (ALT) as a workhorse for addressing defects in this region. Methods. A review of 47 patients who underwent free flap reconstruction for orbital or periorbital defects between September 2006 and May 2011 was performed. Data reviewed included demographics, defect characteristics, free flap used, additional reconstructive techniques employed, length of stay, complications, and follow-up. The ALT subset of the case series was the focus of the data reviewed for this paper. Selected cases were described to highlight some of the advantages of employing the ALT for cranio-orbitofacial reconstruction. Results. 51 free flaps in 47 patients were reviewed. 38 cases required orbital exenteration. The ALT was used in 33 patients. Complications included 1 hematoma, 2 wound infections, 3 CSF leaks, and 3 flap failures. Conclusions. Free tissue transfer allows for the safe and effective reconstruction of complex defects of the orbit and periorbital structures. Reconstructive choice is dependent upon the extent of soft tissue loss, midfacial bone loss, and skullbase involvement. The ALT provides a versatile option to reconstruct the many cranio-orbitofacial defects encountered.

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