What is flap reconstruction surgery?

Flap reconstruction is a surgical procedure whereby a damaged part of the body is reconstructed using the patient's own tissue. It involves transferring a flap of skin, fat and sometimes muscle from another part of your body (the donor site) to the area requiring treatment. The flap can be taken from various areas on the body depending on the operation. Flap surgery is slightly different from a graft, which does not have an intact blood supply and therefore relies on growth of new blood vessels..

Local flaps, used after skin cancer surgery under local anesthesia, usually comes from the nearby area which usually has some lax skin. The wound healing is quicker and usually has aesthetically acceptable results long term.

Who may need flap surgery?

Flap techniques area usually used on the head and neck after skin cancer excisions. There are several options for flaps depending on the location surgery.

Flaps are preferred options if enough lax skin available for reconstruction.

Care after local flap surgery

The wounds on the excision area and donor flap site will be closed with sutures which usually require removal by the nurse after 1 week.

The general care includes keeping area dry and clean for first 48 hrs and dressing changes and skin ointment use as advised by the surgeon on the day of surgery.

The healing time almost similar to simple wound closures ( 1-2 weeks ).

You will be advised to use tape and /or massage on the scar to keep the scar soft and flat.