The Role of the Visor Flap in Scalp Reconstruction: A Case Series of 21 Patients

Marco Ellis, Lisa Hwang, Ni-Ka Ford, Konstantin Slavin
Operative Neurosurgery (Hagerstown, Md.) 2018 December 1, 15 (6): 651-655

BACKGROUND: Full-thickness scalp defects pose a reconstructive problem, especially in the setting of infection, chemotherapy/radiation, and underlying cranial defects. Current options include dermal matrices, skin grafts, and local flaps. Local flaps often fail, requiring subsequent microvascular free flap reconstruction.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the visor flap, a novel bipedicled advancement flap design, and its role in reconstruction of scalp defects.

METHODS: A retrospective review of 21 adult patients who developed scalp defects reconstructed using the visor flap from 2013 to 2017. The visor flap is a large bipedicled advancement flap design with a triangular extension at the base, which allows redistribution of a large surface area of the scalp.

RESULTS: All 21 patients achieved complete and viable soft tissue coverage of the recipient site, but 19.0% developed complications unrelated to flap viability, requiring reoperation (infected bone flap, epidural hematoma, and recurrent glioblastoma with subdural abscess). Only 1 patient required conversion to free flap reconstruction due to cerebrospinal fluid leak. Etiologies included cancer (76.1%), cerebrovascular disease (19.0%), and traumatic brain injury (4.8%). Preoperative radiation (42.9%), bone/hardware exposure (57.1%), and previous craniotomy (85.7%) were widely prevalent. Defect size ranged from 3 to 50 cm2 (mean, 16.9 cm2), and flap size ranged from 90 to 500 cm2 (mean, 222 cm2).

CONCLUSION: The visor flap provides an innovative solution for closure of scalp defects. This technique optimizes immediate closure of tissue compromised by infection or chemotherapy/radiation without burning bridges to more complex reconstructive options.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.