Free groin flap in hemifacial volume reconstruction

Alistair R M Cobb, Maarten J Koudstaal, Neil W Bulstrode, Timothy W Lloyd, David J Dunaway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Use of the free groin flap, one of the first microvascular free flaps described, has been neglected recently because it has a short pedicle and varies anatomically. However, we have found its anatomical features and type of tissue ideal for volumetric enhancement in severe hemifacial asymmetry. We present a retrospective review of a consecutive series of 14 patients who had hemifacial augmentation with a free groin flap (mean age at operation 17 years, range 10-42) since 2001, and discuss the surgical technique. The most common cause of asymmetry was hemifacial microsomia (n=6). Anatomical variation of the vessels in the groin did not cause problems. Arterial anastomosis was to the facial artery in 13 patients; 12 patients had simultaneous hard tissue procedures. No flaps failed. The free groin flap is a useful adjunct in the management of hemifacial deficits in volume when free fat grafts will not provide enough bulk. Although the operation can take longer than non-vascularised grafts, little tissue is lost so long-term results may be more predictable. We have found the anatomy fairly consistent and the short pedicle caused no problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-6
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2012 The British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Adipose Tissue
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anastomosis, Surgical
  • Anatomic Variation
  • Arteries
  • Bone Transplantation
  • Child
  • Face
  • Facial Asymmetry
  • Facial Hemiatrophy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Free Tissue Flaps
  • Genioplasty
  • Graft Survival
  • Groin
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microsurgery
  • Osteotomy
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Transplant Donor Site
  • Young Adult


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