Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Orbital exenteration (OE) is one of the most disfiguring procedures leading to significant deformity. Defect reconstruction is challenging, especially in elderly patients. Herein, experiences with orbital exenteration and primary reconstruction with lateral frontal galeal-cutaneous flap based on superficial temporal artery were reviewed. Materials and methods: Data on patients treated for nonmelanoma skin cancer invading the orbit during a 10-year period were analyzed. The patient demographics, tumor features, reconstructive techniques used, complications, and survival were recorded with a median follow-up of 27.5 months. Results: Included in the study were 26 patients in whom OE was performed, comprising 14 males and 12 females, with a mean age of 75.29 years (range: 61-87). The majority of the patients were treated for basal cell carcinoma with medial cantus as the primary site. All of the defects were closed using a lateral frontal galeal-cutaneous flap based on the superficial temporal artery, and in 2 patients, a temporalis muscle pedicle flap was used as an additional flap for reconstruction of the orbital roof in order to separate the brain from the empty orbit, and it was then covered with the same galeal-cutaneous flap. In 19 patients, the frontal area was closed primarily, and in 7 patients, skin graft was used for the secondary defect. There was no flap loss. Tumor-related death was registered in 3 patients (inoperable recurrent tumors) (11.5%), 7 died from complications that were unrelated to the tumors (2 were operated for recurrent orbital tumors), and 16 survived. Conclusion: The preferred method for reconstruction after OE at our university affiliated center is lateral frontal galeal-cutaneous flap based on the superficial temporal artery. Flap harvesting is simple, safe, and obtains enough tissue to cover the defects, even after extended exenteration. The complication rate is low. The simultaneous use of this flap with pedicle temporalis muscle flap is suggested only for reconstruction of the scull base after anterior cranial fossa resection.


Orbital evisceration, reconstructive surgery, galeal skin island flap

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