The use of artificial dermis in the reconstruction of oncologic surgical defects

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2007 Sep;120(3):638-646. doi: 10.1097/01.prs.0000270298.68331.8a.


Background: Integra dermal substitute has been used in burn reconstruction with great success. Its use in general reconstruction is currently being reported. The authors set out to evaluate the utility of Integra in the reconstruction and resurfacing of defects created by tumor excision.

Methods: Since 2003, 17 patients with soft-tissue tumors involving the head and neck, lower extremity, and anterior chest wall underwent tumor resection and reconstruction with Integra dermal substitute. These patients were followed and clinical outcomes were assessed.

Results: Seventeen patients with a mean age of 54 +/- 21 years underwent tumor resection and reconstruction with Integra dermal substitute. Twelve patients (71 percent) were male and five (29 percent) were female. Twelve cases (71 percent) involved recurrent tumor resection. The 17 cases involved 10 different tumor types at six different anatomical locations. The mean defect size was 172 +/- 260 cm (range, 20 to 1080 cm). The second stage of the reconstruction occurred on postoperative day 23 +/- 6. The mean follow-up was 12.3 +/- 7.2 months (range, 3 to 26 months). Clinically, 16 patients had 100 percent take of skin grafts and one patient had approximately 97 percent take of his graft. All patients experienced excellent defect contouring and cosmesis.

Conclusions: Artificial bilaminate acellular dermis is an excellent option for reconstructing defects created by tumor resection and can be used in a wide variety of locations. It is especially useful in large defects that usually require flaps for coverage. Patients experience minimal donor-site morbidity and have outstanding cosmetic and functional results.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chondroitin Sulfates*
  • Collagen*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / methods*
  • Skin Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Skin, Artificial*


  • integra artificial skin
  • Chondroitin Sulfates
  • Collagen