Expanded tissue from the scalp typically can retain hair growth, so this method can be particularly effective for repairs in this region. Tissue from other areas of the body generally do not offer the same level of hair growth. Once healed, this approach often achieves very natural-looking results.
The process of relocating a section of tissue is called flap surgery, and this method of microsurgery is designed to help restore the appearance and function of an area of the body that has damaged or missing skin, muscle movement, fat, and/or bone structure. There are several different types of flaps, some of which are detailed below.
A section of skin and tissue located adjacent to the wound, the local flap will be transplanted over the area to be repaired. By leaving one end of the tissue attached to the donor site, the flap will be able to retain the original blood supply.
This type of flap utilizes tissue that is supplied by a particular artery and vein. The sustaining blood supply from the tethered blood vessel can allow the flap to require only a slim connection to the donor site.
This section of tissue also includes muscle, which can provide a significant increase in bulk and blood supply. These flaps typically are utilized in breast reconstructions to help restore the volume and shape of the breast after mastectomy. As with the regional flap, this flap will remain attached by a blood vessel.
In addition to the overlying skin, this flap includes a section of bone and also carries a nourishing blood supply from the donor site.
This advanced approach uses a fully detached section of tissue. The flap then can be transplanted to the area to be repaired, where each of the tiny blood vessels will be reconnected.