Also known as "free flaps", microvascular free tissue transfer refers to the highly specialized skill in which tissue (such as skin, muscle, bone or a combination) is taken from one area of the body to reconstruct another. This is essentially a transplant, but from the patient’s own body. These techniques – developed over the past 20 years – have revolutionized the field of facial reconstruction. Our surgeons are able to rebuild virtually every structure of the face with these techniques.
The outcome of the process is dependent upon the successful connection of the small blood vessels of the tissue to recipient vessels in the neck, to provide a healthy blood supply to the transplanted tissue.
At the Johns Hopkins Center for Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, our physicians perform more than 100 of these procedures for cancer reconstruction annually. The success rate is over 95 percent. The procedures are usually done with two teams: a head and neck cancer resection team to treat the cancer, and the facial plastic surgery team to reconstruct the involved structures.
This is a complicated procedure and your physician will give you detailed instructions on what to expect after surgery.
Request an Appointment
To request an appointment or to get more information about the Johns Hopkins Center for Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, please call 877-546-4530. Our experts who perform microvascular free tissue transfer include Dr. Kofi Boahene, Dr. Patrick Byrne and Dr. Jeremy Richmon.