The difficult scalp and skull wound

S N Oishi, E A Luce
Clinics in Plastic Surgery 1995, 22 (1): 51-9
Scalp and skull defects can be very difficult to reconstruct. Whereas small defects may require only primary closure, skin graft, or small rotation flaps, large defects involving full-thickness scalp can be much more problematic. These large defects may require free-tissue transfer for adequate soft-tissue coverage. The calvaria also may require reconstruction. If the underlying bone is not infected, it can be left in situ and covered with well-vascularized tissue. The bone should be removed only if it is infected. Calvarial reconstruction should then be delayed for 3 to 6 months. If the tissue has been irradiated, only selected defects are appropriate for coverage with local scalp flaps because adjacent tissues may have underlying damage. With a methodic, accurate assessment of the defect, successful reconstruction can be expected.

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