Free Tissue Transfer

Free tissue transfers also known as “free flaps” involve taking skin, fat, muscle, nerves, and/or bone along with its blood supply and transferring the tissue from one part of the body and reattaching it to a distant site.

Benefits of Free Tissue Transfer / Free Flaps

The technique is used in a number of reconstructive procedures including mandibular, breast, and facial reconstructions. Some advantages of using free flaps are:

  • Stable wound coverage
  • Improved aesthetic and functional outcomes
  • Minimal donor site morbidity
  • High success rate

Healing and Recovery

Free flap procedures typically last several hours depending on the type of reconstruction and a hospital stay may last several days as well. Although technically more complex than other reconstruction techniques, the potential benefits of free flap reconstruction can be significant after the patient has fully recovered from surgery.

Depending on the particular procedure, you may be recovering between 1 to 3 months before you are fully active. To a varying degree, scarring after free tissue transfer should be expected.

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