Locoregional Flaps for the Reconstruction of Midface Skin Defects: A Collection of Key Surgical Techniques

J Clin Med. 2023 May 26;12(11):3700. doi: 10.3390/jcm12113700.


Background: The reconstruction of midface skin defects represents a challenge for the head and neck surgeon due to the midface's significant role in defining important facial traits. Due to the high complexity of the midface region, there is no possibility to use one definitive flap for all purposes. For moderate defects, the most common reconstructive techniques are represented by regional flaps. These flaps can be defined as donor tissue with a pedunculated axial blood supply not necessarily adjacent to the defect. The aim of this study is to highlight the more common surgical techniques adopted for midface reconstruction, providing a focus on each technique with its description and indications.

Methods: A literature review was conducted using PubMed, an international database. The target of the research was to collect at least 10 different surgical techniques.

Results: Twelve different techniques were selected and cataloged. The flaps included were the bilobed flap, rhomboid flap, facial-artery-based flaps (nasolabial flap, island composite nasal flap, retroangular flap), cervicofacial flap, paramedian forehead flap, frontal hairline island flap, keystone flap, Karapandzic flap, Abbè flap, and Mustardè flap.

Conclusions: The study of the facial subunits, the location and size of the defect, the choice of the appropriate flap, and respect for the vascular pedicles are the key elements for optimal outcomes.

Keywords: head and neck reconstruction; midface locoregional flaps; midface skin defects; pedunculated flaps.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.