Histologic changes in skin implanted into the larynx and trachea by myocutaneous flap reconstruction

I. Eliachar, B. A. Sebek, S. Levine, H. M. Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Skin is the tissue most readily available for relining the walls of the reconstructed larynx or trachea. Its use has been condemned in the past because of potential contrature, scalling, crust formation, and collapse into the lumen. Most of these complications have occurred when free, split-thickness grafts were used. We studied the changes that develop within skin that is transferred into the lumen of the airway as part of a vascularized sternohyoid myocutaneous flap. Twenty-one dogs underwent reconstruction of laryngotracheal defects by a vascularized myocutaneous flap. The closely shaved and chemically depilated skin included in this reconstruction was ultimately found to be well healed to the adjacent mucosa. Flaps as large as 8 cm2 survived with no evidence of scaling, crusting, or contracture. The cutaneous appendages in the flaps were compared with those found in adjacent skin near the donor site. After proper depilation there was involution of cutaneous appendages. Scarring of the dermis appeared to add support to the grafts. Our findings demonstrate that the rotary door sternohyoid myocutaneous flap is a reliable, well-vascularized flap that can have extensive application in laryngotracheal reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)754-758
Number of pages5
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1985


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