Surgical reconstruction of post-tumoral facial defects

Vol. 59 No. 1, 2018


Camelia Tamas, Catalina Teodora Pintilie, Ionut Vivi Atanasoae, Andreea Mioara Corduneanu, Iulia Dabija, Florin Stefan Olaru, Irina Mihaela Hreniuc, Angela Tecuceanu, Ioana Munteanu, Costel Dobre, Dan Cristian Moraru, Victor Ianole, Ioana Tamas, Victor Vlad Costan

Purpose: The face is an unfortunate location for any type of tumor - malignant or not - with significant esthetic and functional outcomes. To reconstruct a facial defect may seem simple, but can be rather complicated. The aim of this study is to analyze and discuss our results in order to conclude with specific surgical strategies correlated with the morphopathological results. The most important objective for us is to offer the highest level of expertise to our patients and to prove that the symbiosis between the surgical treatment and the work of the Department of Morphopathology is essential in order to maximize the quality of medical care provided for our patients. Patients, Materials and Methods: A retrospective study was conducted on 116 patients diagnosed with facial malignant tumors, 70 of which were confirmed as basal cell carcinomas (BCCs), 35 confirmed as squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) and 11 malignant melanomas (MMs). Most BCC cases (57) showed ulceration, with a long clinical evolution (more than 10 years) in 48 cases. Only in 12 SCC cases, patients showed inflammation and ulceration, with a shorter evolution period (2-5 years). For complete microscopic diagnosis, immunohistochemical (IHC) examination was necessary in 46 cases. The BCC deceiving clinical behavior and the generally aggressive character of the MM were found in our patients as well. Results: The most frequent sites were the orbital region (27 cases) and the nasolabial sulcus (26 cases). In order to reconstruct the postexcisional defects, we had to perform local flaps in 62 cases (14 frontal flaps for orbital defects, 32 glabellar flaps for medial epicanthus, lower lid and nasal region, 15 nasolabial flaps for lower lid or nasal alae and one Z-plasty for the submental region). Oncological follow-up was performed in all patients and in 15 cases re-excision was necessary (11 BCCs, two SCCs and two MMs). Cervical lymph node metastasis occurred in six cases (three BCCs, one SCC and two MMs). Conclusions: The cooperation between surgeons and pathologists allowed for good outcomes and the pathology examination can guide the surgical approach towards better results both functionally and esthetically.

Corresponding author: Ionut Vivi Atanasoae, Assistant Lecturer, MD; e-mail:; Dan Cristian Moraru, Assistant Lecturer, MD; e-mail:

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