Technical considerations in replantation of total scalp avulsions

J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2006;59(1):2-10. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2005.04.002.


Total scalp avulsions are devastating injuries and replantation is the best form of reconstruction. We present our experience of replantation of six totally avulsed scalps done between 1996 and 2004. All were technically successful, but one was lost in the post-operative period due to accidental shearing of the scalp during nursing care. A single team performed the surgery in all cases and the average operating time was 6 h. No vein grafts were used. Hair growth was satisfactory in all cases. None underwent formal nerve repair but there was adequate sensory recovery in all of them by 6-9 months. A small area of skin necrosis in the occipital area (three cases), telecanthus and epiphora (two cases) were the minor complications. The available Literature highlights the need for multiple teams to reduce the long operating time, the use of multiple vein grafts and the complexities involved. Since, they are rare injuries, gaining wide experience is difficult. In this article we offer recommendations in pre-op preparation, vessel identification, technique of anchoring the avulsed scalp prior to vessel anastomosis and post-op care to make this rare procedure quicker, easier and successful.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microsurgery / methods
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / methods
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Replantation / methods*
  • Scalp / blood supply
  • Scalp / injuries*
  • Scalp / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome