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Reconstructive Surgery

Reconstructive Surgery

Following removal of a tumor, your surgeon will reconstruct the area to provide the best function as well as cosmetic look. Even patients who undergo robotic surgery may need reconstructive surgery. The surgeon may reconstruct the area, if necessary, with tissue from another area of your body. The tissue, referred to as a flap, can be rotational or free. Rotational flaps are moved to the reconstruction area without disconnecting the tissue from the vessels. Free flaps are taken from another area of the body.

Our surgeons were among the first in the region to implement a reconstructive technique, the supraclavicular artery flap, that requires less time in surgery and provides the patient with improved aesthetic and functional results.

Our surgeons expertly perform complex microvascular reconstructive surgery. Using this technique, they can rebuild tongues and jaws by transferring tissue from another part of the body and meticulously connecting tiny blood vessels in the neck using a microscope and sutures as fine as human hair. The result is not only a better cosmetic outcome but also improved speech, swallowing and breathing.

Most importantly, microvascular techniques have allowed surgeons to operate on many patients who might have been considered inoperable in the past because they didn’t have the ability to reconstruct certain parts of the head, such as the throat, which patients need to survive.

Keck Medicine of USC is the University of Southern California’s medical enterprise, one of only two university-owned academic medical centers in the Los Angeles area.