Objective outcomes analysis following microvascular gracilis transfer for facial reanimation: a review of 10 years' experience.


IMPORTANCE Objective assessment of smile outcome after microvascular free gracilis transfer is challenging, and quantification of smile outcomes in the literature is inconsistent. OBJECTIVE To report objective excursion and symmetry outcomes from a series of free gracilis cases and investigate the predictive value of intraoperative measurements on final outcomes. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS A retrospective medical chart review was undertaken of all patients who underwent microvascular free gracilis transfer for smile at our institution over the past 10 years. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Outcome measures included the following: smile excursion, angle of smile with respect to the vertical midline, and facial symmetry during repose and with smile. Measurements were obtained using an automated tool for assessment of facial landmarks (FACE-Gram). An exhaustive set of intraoperative parameters including degree of recoil of the gracilis muscle following harvest, the degree to which the muscle foreshortened during stimulation of the obturator nerve, final stretched length of the inset muscle, surgeon assessment of neurorrhaphy and pulse pressure, ischemia time, number of sutures used during neurorrhaphy, nerve used to innervate the flap, and surgeon assessment of oral commissure overcorrection were recorded and placed into a linear regression model to investigate correlations with smile. RESULTS From March 2003 to March 2013, 154 microvascular free gracilis transfers were performed for facial reanimation at our institution, 14 (9%) of which were deemed failures. Of the remaining 140 flaps, 127 fulfilled inclusion criteria and constituted the study cohort. Smile excursion, angle excursion, and symmetry of the oral commissure at repose and with smile all improved following gracilis free flap (P < .05). Associations between selected outcomes measures and intraoperative gracilis measurements were identified. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Facial reanimation using free gracilis transfer results in quantifiable improvements in oral commissure excursion and facial symmetry both at rest and with smiling. Associations between contractility and internal recoil of the flap and final outcome were identified. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE 4

DOI: 10.1001/jamafacial.2013.2463

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@article{Bhama2014ObjectiveOA, title={Objective outcomes analysis following microvascular gracilis transfer for facial reanimation: a review of 10 years' experience.}, author={Prabhat K. Bhama and Julie S Weinberg and Robin W Lindsay and Marc H Hohman and Mack L. Cheney and Tessa A . Hadlock}, journal={JAMA facial plastic surgery}, year={2014}, volume={16 2}, pages={85-92} }