The paramedian forehead flap is considered the gold standard for nasal reconstruction following oncologic surgery. During the 21-day delay in two-stage surgery protocols, many patients report considerably reduced quality of life because of the pedicle. This prospective case series study examined the usefulness of near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence with indocyanine green (ICG) for flap perfusion assessment and identified variables associated with time to flap perfusion. Ten patients (mean age 75.3 ± 11.6 years) with diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma (n = 9) or squamous cell carcinoma (n = 1) underwent intravenous indocyanine injection and NIR fluorescence imaging for assessment of flap vascularisation 2 to 3 weeks after stage 1 surgery. NIR fluorescence imaging showed 90% to 100% perfusion areas in all patients after 14 to 21 days. Early pedicle division occurred in two patients on postoperative days 14 and 16. One minor complication (wound healing disorder) was seen following flap takedown after 14 days. There were no associations between time to flap perfusion and defect size or flap area. NIR fluorescence imaging with ICG dye is a useful method for non-invasive perfusion assessment when used in conjunction with clinical assessment criteria. However, a decision for early pedicle division may raise risk of complications in specific patient groups and must therefore be made with great care.© 2021 The Authors. International Wound Journal published by Medicalhelplines.com Inc (3M) and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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Ulrich M Rieger