Background: Fasciocutaneous tissue transfer is one of the most common procedures performed in head and neck reconstructive surgery. These composite tissues can be transferred as either a free flap or a pedicled flap. Free tissue transfer has become the reconstructive modality of choice following head and neck oncologic ablation. Synthetic tissue adhesives and hemostatic agents are rapidly gaining popularity in reconstructive surgery. Their ability to decrease bleeding and promote flap sealing and healing has led to a proliferation in their use. To our knowledge, the short-term effect of these substances on healing, as measured by flap revascularization, has not been systematically investigated. Methods: Fifty-six male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 3 groups: a control group, a matrix hemostatic sealant (FloSeal) group, and a 2-component fibrin sealant (Tisseel) group. In each group, the rats had a 3×6-cm fasciocutaneous flap based on the inferior epigastric artery elevated and exposed to 2 hours of primary ischemia. In the control group, 0.2 mL of isotonic sodium chloride solutionwas placed between the flap and its bed, while in the experimental groups, 0.5 mL of FloSeal or 0.2 mL of Tisseel was applied to the wound before closure. Each group was then divided into groups of 5 rats. Each of these groups then had their pedicle divided on postischemic day 4, 5, 6, or 7. The percentage survival of the flap was measured 7 days after pedicle ligation. Results: There was no statistical difference in flap survival of rats treated with isotonic sodium chloride solution, Tisseel, or FloSeal. Ligation of the flap pedicle on days 4, 5, 6, or 7 did not result in any difference in flap survival among the 3 groups. Conclusion: The FloSeal and Tisseel demonstrate no short-term detrimental effect on flap survival nor do they seem to affect revascularization in a fasciocutaneous free flap model.
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