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Semin Plast Surg. 2008 Nov;22(4):294-305. doi: 10.1055/s-0028-1095888.

Cheek reconstruction: current concepts in managing facial soft tissue loss.

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Division of Plastic Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.


Significant defects of the cheek present a reconstructive challenge due to their extremely visible site, as well as limited local tissue supply. In addition, the cheek abuts several structures of expressive function, such as the eye, mouth, and local facial musculature. To achieve satisfactory functional and aesthetic results, reconstruction of such defects requires careful three-dimensional restoration of all missing components, adequate texture matching, as well as functional restoration. Aesthetic reconstruction of facial defects should adhere to the priority goals of first preserving function and second achieving cosmesis. According to the size of the defect, location on the cheek, relationship to adjacent structures, available donor tissue, and existing skin tension lines, a host of techniques is available for closure. As a well-established principle in facial reconstructive surgery, one should use local tissue whenever possible to provide the best tissue for color and contour restoration. However, thoughtful reliance upon the "reconstructive ladder," including direct closure, skin grafting, local flap creation, regional flap placement, and free-flap repair, will invariably guide the surgeon in an optimal approach to cheek reconstruction.


Considerations for cheek reconstruction; flap placement; free-flap repair; free-tissue transfer; skin grafting

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