The paramedian forehead flap (PMFF) donor site scar is hard to disguise and may be a source of patient dissatisfaction.
To evaluate the aesthetic outcome of W-plasty vs traditional straight-line (SL) closure techniques of the PMFF donor site.
Design, Setting, and Participants
A retrospective cohort study was conducted at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. Clinical history and operative reports were reviewed for 31 patients who underwent a PMFF procedure performed between November 1, 2011, and May 29, 2014. Blinded photographic analysis of postoperative photographs was performed.
The pedicled component of the PMFF was raised primarily with either a W-plasty or traditional SL design.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Standard photographs of the donor site, obtained at least 90 days after surgery, were reviewed and scored in a blinded fashion by 4 dermatologic surgeons using a 100-point visual analog scale (from 0 [worst possible outcome] to 100 [best possible outcome]) and a 5-point Likert scale (from very poor to excellent). Interrater reliability was assessed via Cronbach α testing.
All 31 forehead flaps survived during this study period; 16 PMFFs were raised with the W-plasty technique and 15 were raised with the SL technique. The W-plasty and SL groups were similar in terms of age, sex, and race/ethnicity (mean [SD] age, 68.4 [12.4] vs 61.8 [11.6] years; 13 [84%] vs 9 [60%] men; and 15 [94%] vs 13 [87%] white). Patients undergoing W-plasty closure had significantly higher mean visual analog scale scores compared with those undergoing SL closure (72.8 [18.3] vs 65.6 [18.1]; P = .03). Mean Likert scale scores for W-plasty were higher than those for SL closure, but the difference was not significant (3.77 [1.02] vs 3.43 [0.98]; P = .08). Overall interrater reliability for the visual analog scale and Likert scale scores were 0.67 and 0.58, respectively.
Conclusions and Relevance
Patients undergoing PMFF donor site closure using a primary W-plasty technique demonstrated better mean scar appearance of the forehead donor site compared with SL closure. The primary W-plasty technique did not result in any PMFF losses and should be considered for appropriate patients.
Level of Evidence