The role of pre-expanded free flaps in revision of burn scarring

F. Santanelli, F. R. Grippaudo, P. Ziccardi, M. G. Onesti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors present two patients affected by scars resulting from burning of over 60 per cent of the total body area, in which the pre-expansion of a free flap has been used to increase the tissue surface useful for transfer from the only area of residual healthy skin (left forearm, left parascapular region). In both cases it was possible to transfer abundant healthy tissue into the desired areas, obtaining a rapid release of the region, which made possible an early physical rehabilitation of the patient starting after the second postoperative week. One of the main problems encountered, when facing surgical rehabilitation for the seriously burned patient, is the poor availability of skin donor areas suitable for reconstructive flaps. The pre-expansion of free flaps provides an advantage in that it allows the few integral residual areas to be used, improving vascularization and therefore increasing the available surface. Furthermore, as pre-expansion reduces tension on the margins, it allows for the easier closing of the donor area, with a minor risk of complications and a better scar outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)620-625
Number of pages6
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Surgery


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