The versatile temporoparietal fascial flap: adaptability to a variety of composite defects

Elliott H. Rose, Michael S. Norris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


The unique properties of the temporoparietal fascial flap (TPFF) offer adaptability in reconstruction of a variety of composite defects. The broad, thin sheet of vascularized tissue may be transferred alone or as a carrier of subjacent bone or overlying skin and scalp. As a pedicled flap, it is ideal for defects of the orbital, malar, mandibular, and mastoid regions. As a free-tissue transfer, the large vessels and lack of bulk find broad utility in reconstruction of the extremities. This flap is our choice for reconstruction of the dorsal hand and non-weight-bearing surfaces of the foot. A viscous gliding surface decreases friction for tendon excursion. The thin contour is aesthetically superior to thicker flaps, allowing unmodified footwear or gloves. The pliable fascia convolutes into surface defects (e.g., bone craters) or drapes over skeletal frameworks (e.g., ear cartilage). The rich capillary network offers nutrition to saucerized bone, cartilage or tendon grafts, and over- lying skin grafts. The geometry of the skull lends to fabrication of membranous bone for complex facial puzzles. The donor site is well disguised by hair growth. Twelve cases performed over a 2-year period demonstrate the versatility of this flap. These include complex foot reconstruction, ear and scalp avulsion, shotgun wound of the cheek and orbit, posttraumatic jaw recontouring, chronic osteomyelitis of the hand and foot, and acute resurfacing of dorsal hand with tendon reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-232
Number of pages9
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1990
Externally publishedYes


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