Vascularized Free Flap

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Vascularized Free Flap at Scars Center

The surgical removal of skin cancer allows dermatologists the ability to bring cure to their patients. Unfortunately, when skin cancer is in a sensitive area, such as the face, eyes, ears, lips, or nose, that can be just half the battle.  At SCARS Center, our Mohs dermatologists and reconstructive surgeons work hand in hand to provide each patient with an individualized plan for both skin cancer cure and cosmetically sound results.

About Vascularized Free Flap

When flaps and skin grafts are not appropriate for closure, the surgeon will consider using a vascularized free flap for repair. Vascularized free flaps are also referred to as microvascular free flaps. This is a hospital based procedure which can require up to a three day over night stay.


The technique involves transplanting soft tissue from different parts of the body. The transplanted tissue will have an artery and a vein in tact so that it can be attached to the tissue in the area that needs to be reconstructed. This vascularized blood supply allows the surgeon to transplant a large amount of tissue, making it more likely to survive the trauma of transplantation.


Common areas used as donor sites in vascularized free flap include the forearm and the outer thigh. The time period between harvesting a free flap to reattaching to a blood supply in the recipient defect is usually 1-2 hours. Patients undergoing a free flap procedure should speak to their physician about expected outcomes, healing time, and any other questions they may have in mind in advance.

Have you been diagnosed with skin cancer on the face?

SCARS Center specialists work with local dermatologists to offer the most cosmetically sensitive results for skin cancer on the face, ears, eyes, or nose. Contact us for a consultation today. 

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