Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Current trends in craniofacial reconstruction.pdf (2.09 MB)

Current trends in craniofacial reconstruction

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-10-18, 11:03 authored by Ciaran Hurley, Rory McConn WalshRory McConn Walsh, N P Shine, James Paul O'NeillJames Paul O'Neill, F Martin, J B O'Sullivan

Reconstruction of the head and neck continues to pose a variety of difficult functional and aesthetic challenges to the plastic surgeon. While the surgical treatment for midfacial and skull base tumours continues to advance, the three-dimensional reconstruction predicaments continue to increase in complexity. Reconstructive strategies of the head and neck require the restoration of intricate skeletal architecture and large volumes of both internal and external soft tissue envelopes that can withstand adjuvant therapies. Vascularized bone grafts in combination with microsurgical techniques is the current trend of most reconstruction and has replaced local and pedicle flaps as the preferred modality for large defects. This article will focus on concise areas of difficulty in craniofacial reconstruction, including mandibular, midfacial, scalp and base of skull reconstruction. As our goals now move from flap survival to refinement, more complex and innovative reconstructions are executed. The problems with each modality are examined, and the frontiers of head and neck reconstruction are explored. With the potential combination of virtual surgery and tissue engineered biotechnology, we may someday be able to expand our reconstructive capabilities beyond free tissue transfer.



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Published Citation

Hurley CM, et al. Current trends in craniofacial reconstruction. Surgeon. 2022;21(3):e118-e125.

Publication Date

5 May 2022

PubMed ID



  • Beaumont Hospital
  • Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery


Elsevier B.V.,


  • Published Version (Version of Record)