What is the role of cadaveric homografts in reconstructive surgery for angiosarcoma of the scalp?

Updated: Jan 03, 2020
  • Author: Jonathan S Zager, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Gregory Gary Caputy, MD, PhD, FICS  more...
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Answer

Answer

Regardless of the clinical scenario, the authors commonly use cadaveric homografts to temporarily reconstruct the scalp. Access to a skin bank with an available supply of homografts is necessary to reliably use this technique. Once the homograft is thawed, place it on the wound just like a skin graft and secure it in place with staples, Xeroform gauze, and a compressive type of head dressing such as self-adhering foam. Usually, the dressing remains on the wound for approximately 1 week, while the pathologist provides margins on the surgical specimens. Homograft has the advantage of being a durable skin substitute for 5-7 days before a purulent exudate develops beneath the graft. When the margins are free, the patient is returned to the operating room for a staged reconstruction.


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