Integra as Firstline Treatment for Scalp Reconstruction in Elderly Patients

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2021 Dec;79(12):2593-2602. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2021.07.009. Epub 2021 Jul 16.


Purpose: Large scalp defects pose a reconstructive problem especially in elderly patients. The purpose of the study is to describe our experience of oncologic scalp reconstruction using a dermal matrix (Integra).

Material and methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study (January 2007 to March 2021) of patients who had undergone scalp tumor excision and reconstruction using Integra and a split-thickness skin graft (STSG). The primary end point was Integra and STSG success (defined by ≥75% percent take) and the secondary end point was postoperative complications. Both end points were assessed by the surgeon during follow-up. Demographic data, tumor characteristics, average defect size, time between stages and full-thickness scalp defects were characterized using descriptive statistics. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression models were used to evaluate the association between variables and end points.

Results: The sample included 70 patients with a mean (SD) age of 83.3 (7.0) years, 75.7% men and 92.9% with comorbidities. Mean (SD) defect area was 23 (17.0) cm2 and the mean (SD) first-to-second phase interval was 30.6 (8.4) days. Sixty-four patients (91.4%) underwent outpatient surgery. Integra and STSG success rates were 87.1% (95% CI: 77.69 to 93.74%) and 100%, respectively. The complications rate was 18.6% (95% CI: 9 to 28%). Mean (SD) follow-up was 18 (16.7) months. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis showed no association between variables and the primary and secondary end points.

Conclusions: Reconstruction of oncologic scalp defects using Integra can be performed under sedation and local anesthesia. Integra should be considered as firstline treatment for the reconstruction of scalp defects in elderly patients with comorbidities, given the low postoperative major complications rate and Integra and STSG take success.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chondroitin Sulfates
  • Collagen
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Scalp* / surgery
  • Skin Transplantation


  • Chondroitin Sulfates
  • Collagen