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2.  Mandibular reconstruction using an axially vascularized tissue-engineered construct 
Background
Current reconstructive techniques for continuity defects of the mandible include the use of free flaps, bone grafts, and alloplastic materials. New methods of regenerative medicine designed to restore tissues depend mainly on the so-called extrinsic neovascularization, where the neovascular bed originates from the periphery of the construct. This method is not applicable for large defects in irradiated fields.
Methods
We are introducing a new animal model for mandibular reconstruction using intrinsic axial vascularization by the Arterio-Venous (AV) loop. In order to test this model, we made cadaveric, mechanical loading, and surgical pilot studies on adult male goats. The cadaveric study aimed at defining the best vascular axis to be used in creating the AV loop in the mandibular region. Mechanical loading studies (3 points bending test) were done to ensure that the mechanical properties of the mandible were significantly affected by the designed defect, and to put a base line for further mechanical testing after bone regeneration. A pilot surgical study was done to ensure smooth operative and post operative procedures.
Results
The best vascular axis to reconstruct defects in the posterior half of the mandible is the facial artery (average length 32.5 ± 1.9 mm, caliber 2.5 mm), and facial vein (average length 33.3 ± 1.8 mm, caliber 2.6 mm). Defects in the anterior half require an additional venous graft. The defect was shown to be significantly affecting the mechanical properties of the mandible (P value 0.0204). The animal was able to feed on soft diet from the 3rd postoperative day and returned to normal diet within a week. The mandible did not break during the period of follow up (2 months).
Conclusions
Our model introduces the concept of axial vascularization of mandibular constructs. This model can be used to assess bone regeneration for large bony defects in irradiated fields. This is the first study to introduce the concept of axial vascularization using the AV loop for angiogenesis in the mandibular region. Moreover, this is the first study aiming at axial vascularization of synthetic tissue engineering constructs at the site of the defect without any need for tissue transfer (in contrast to what was done previously in prefabricated flaps).
doi:10.1186/1750-1164-5-2
PMCID: PMC3069948  PMID: 21418603
3.  The extended latissimus dorsi flap option in autologous breast reconstruction: A report of 14 cases and review of the literature 
Background:
Autologous breast reconstruction using the extended latissimus dorsi flap has been infrequently reported. In the current study, the authors are reporting their own clinical experience with this method. A review of the literature is also discussed.
Materials and Methods:
Over a three year period, 14 patients underwent breast reconstruction using the extended latissimus dorsi (LD) flap. Patients with small to medium sized breasts were selected. The age of the patients ranged from 29 to 42 years with a follow-up period ranging from six to 18 months. The indications, flap-related complications and donor site morbidity and aesthetic results were evaluated.
Results:
The main indication to use the flap was dorsal donor site preference by patients. The remaining patients were either not suitable for a flap from the abdomen or wished to get pregnant and were offered the dorsal donor site. Neither total nor partial flap loss was recorded but donor site morbidity was mainly due to seroma, which was treated conservatively in all patients, except for one who required surgery. Another two patients suffered from wound breakdown and distal necrosis of the back flaps. Mild contour deformity was also noted on the back of all patients but caused no major concern. Indeed, the overall patient satisfaction was very high.
Conclusion:
The extended LD flap proved to be a good option for autologous breast reconstruction in selected patients. Patients should be warned of the potential for seroma and mild contour back deformity.
doi:10.4103/0970-0358.41107
PMCID: PMC2739536  PMID: 19753197
Breast reconstruction; extended latissimus dorsi flap

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