The use of a bovine collagen construct for reconstruction of full-thickness scalp defects in the elderly patient with cutaneous malignancy

Jonathan S Wilensky, Andrew H Rosenthal, Carol R Bradford, Riley S Rees
Annals of Plastic Surgery 2005, 54 (3): 297-301
Full-thickness defects of the scalp following cancer resection are reconstructive challenges when bone is exposed. Local, regional, and/or free tissue transfer have all been described for reconstruction when the pericranium is exposed. We examined the surgical outcomes from 23 patients who underwent placement of bovine collagen constructs. Thereafter, delayed skin grafting was performed. The average age of the patients was 70 years. All patients had one of the following: melanoma (n = 13) squamous cell carcinoma (n = 5), angiosarcoma (n = 2), basal cell carcinoma (n = 1), spindle cell carcinoma (n = 1), or malignant pilar tumor (n = 1). The average defect size was 51 cm, with a range of 9 cm to 169 cm. Average time between bovine construct placement and skin grafting was 30 days. Histologic studies demonstrated persistence of the construct and infiltration of nascent fibroblasts. Six patients had delayed healing due to microabscesses in the constructs. All wounds eventually healed. In the elderly, this is a simple method to treat full-thickness scalp defects.

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