Optimizing reconstruction with periorbital transplantation: Clinical indications and anatomic considerations

Michael Sosin, Gerhard S. Mundinger, Amir H. Dorafshar, Nicholas T. Iliff, Joani M. Christensen, Michael R. Christy, Branko Bojovic, Eduardo D. Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Complex periorbital subunit reconstruction is challenging because the goals of effective reconstruction vary from one individual to another. The purpose of this article is to explore the indications and anatomic feasibility of periorbital transplantation by reviewing our institutional repository of facial injury. Methods: Institutional review board approval was obtained at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center for a retrospective chart review conducted on patients with periorbital defects. Patient history, facial defects, visual acuity, and periorbital function were critically reviewed to identify indications for periorbital or total face (incorporating the periorbital subunit) vascularized composite allotransplantation. Cadaveric allograft harvest was then designed and performed for specific patient defects to determine anatomic feasibility. Disease conditions not captured by our patient population warranting consideration were reviewed. Results: A total of 7 facial or periorbital transplant candidates representing 6 different etiologies were selected as suitable indications for periorbital transplantation. Etiologies included trauma, burn, animal attack, and tumor, whereas proposed transplants included isolated periorbital and total face transplants. Allograft recovery was successfully completed in 4 periorbital subunits and 1 full face. Dual vascular supply was achieved in 5 of 6 periorbital subunits (superficial temporal and facial vessels). Conclusions: Transplantation of isolated periorbital structures or full face transplantation including periorbital structures is technically feasible. The goal of periorbital transplantation is to re-establish protective mechanisms of the eye, to prevent deterioration of visual acuity, and to optimize aesthetic outcomes. Criteria necessary for candidate selection and allograft design are identified by periorbital defect periorbital function ophthalmologic evaluation, and defect etiology.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere628
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016


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