Background: Despite the different approaches for detection of perforators, methods of vascular mapping of the expanded forehead flap for nasal reconstruction are rarely described. This article aimed to present our experience in the preoperative design of the expanded forehead flap for nasal reconstruction and to compare the clinical practice of hand-held Doppler and indocyanine green angiography (ICGA) in vascular mapping for nasal reconstruction with the expanded forehead flap.
Methods: From October 2019 to April 2022, 26 patients underwent nasal reconstruction using expanded forehead flap. The authors performed preoperative vascular mapping on 16 patients by hand-held Doppler alone, and on 10 patients by hand-held Doppler and ICGA primary outcomes considered were the visualization of the main vascular course of the flap obtained by hand-held Doppler or ICGA, intraoperative observation of the flap, and its postoperative complications.
Results: Indocyanine green angiography provides a better detection in distal flap and the branches of the supratrochlear artery. Vein detection by ICGA generally corresponds to the results obtained by the combination of hand-held Doppler and transillumination test. In the group that only used hand-held Doppler, 2 patients presented hemodynamic complications in the margin of the flap and 1 patient presented partial necrosis postoperatively. No complication was found in the group that used ICGA.
Conclusions: It is recommended to use the ICGA for preoperative planning, as it yields highly accurate vascular courses. As an alternative to other methods, hand-held Doppler is also an effective tool.