Repeated tissue expansions on solit-thickness skin graft in a patient with neurocutaneous syndrome

Canter H. I., Igde M., Vargel I., ÖZGÜR F. F.

JOURNAL OF CRANIOFACIAL SURGERY, vol.18, no.3, pp.699-703, 2007 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 18 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/scs.0b013e318052fe58
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.699-703
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Soft tissue expansion is a mechanical process that increases the surface area of local tissue available for reconstructive procedures. In most cases, adjacent tissue that matches the recipient site in color, texture, and hair-bearing quality is preferred for tissue expansion. In this particular case with neurocutaneous syndrome, the defects that resulted from removal of parts of a giant hairy nevus overlying the latissimus dorsi muscle bilaterally were grafted with a split-thickness skin graft. Two expanders were then placed under the latissimus dorsi muscles. After full expansion of the grafted area, some part of the remaining nevus surrounding the grafted area was removed and the defects were covered with the expanded skin graft obtained after deflation of the expanders. The expanders placed under the latissimus dorsi muscle in the first operation were reused in the second operation to obtain a second expansion of the skin graft. After the second expansion of the skin graft, the expanders were deflated and another portion of the remaining nevus surrounding the grafted area was removed. The resulting defects were again covered with the excess expanded skin graft. Although repeated expansion of the skin graft is a time-consuming and laborious process, it eliminates the need for taking repeated skin grafts; it decreases skin graft donor site morbidity; it decreases possible infectious complications of tissue expansion by decreasing the number of surgical interventions to the expander pocket; and it increases the aesthetic outcome by keeping all the surgical scars around the grafted Area without extending them into healthy surrounding skin.