Marginal Skin Flap Advancement: A Technique to Optimize the Skin Graft Interface Following Tumor Resections


Split-thickness skin graft (STSG) for soft tissue defects is often required following tumor resections. There is often a step-off with subcutaneous adipose tissue along the defect margins. This review of 20 years of experience was performed to determine the success of marginal skin flap advancement, a simple surgical technique addressing this issue. Seventy-one cases were identified that underwent sarcoma resection and this technique. Marginal skin flap advancement decreased the defect size from 217 š 162 cm2 to 128 š 101 cm2 (p < .001). STSG was successfully applied in 69 cases (97%) with a mean 96% take of the skin graft. Although 29 cases (41%) had wound healing complications of any nature, only 11 (15%) required a secondary operation. Marginal skin flap advancement, in conjunction with vacuum-assisted closure therapy, decreases the defect surface area requiring STSG by 41% and provides an excellent reconstructive option for soft tissue defects following sarcoma resections. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 27(2):102–108, 2018) Key words: sarcoma, soft tissue reconstruction, split-thickness skin graft, vacuum-assisted closure, wound healing

Wayne A. Chen, MD, and William G. Ward, MD