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International Journal of Surgical Oncology
Volume 2011, Article ID 415219, 5 pages
Review Article

Microsurgical Reconstruction of Large, Locally Advanced Cutaneous Malignancy of the Head and Neck

Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY 40536-0284, USA

Received 15 March 2011; Revised 28 July 2011; Accepted 22 August 2011

Academic Editor: André M. Eckardt

Copyright © 2011 Joseph L. Hill and Brian Rinker. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Large, locally advanced cutaneous malignancy of the head and neck region is rare. However, when present, they impart a significant reconstructive challenge. These cancers have a tendency to invade peripheral tissues covering a large surface area as well as expose deeper structures such as skull, dura, orbit, and sinus after resection. Complicating the reconstructive dilemma is the high incidence of individuals who have undergone previous surgery in the region as well as adjuvant radiation therapy, which may preclude the use of local flaps or skin graft. Free tissue transfer provides a reconstructive surgeon the ability to provide well-vascularized tissue with adequate volume not limited by arc of rotation.