Deep Circumflex Iliac Artery Flap
A Deep Circumflex Iliac Artery (DCIA) flap is taken from the hip bone.
There is an abundance of good quality bone available from the hip for reconstruction of the jaws. Usually the bone is taken from the same side as the jaw defect and has a natural contour which fits well.
An additional advantage of this flap is that the bone quality is excellent for placing dental implants, so that patients can have replacement teeth.
Flap surgery is usually performed at the same time as the cancer surgery to provide an immediate reconstruction. The procedure involves making a cut a few centimetres above the hip.
The flap surgery can usually be performed simultaneously with the cancer removal which shortens the operation.
After removing the flap, usually a mesh repair (similar to those performed at hernia operations is carried out.
Sometimes the wound can get infected, and if this happens usually this is managed sufficiently with a course of antibiotics.
Altered Gait (Limp)
Sometimes patients can find that for a while after surgery they walk with a bit of a limp usually due to hip pain. We have a team which includes leading physiotherapists who will help your recovery.
Patients may develop haematomas or collections of blood in the wound after surgery. Drains are placed to prevent accumulation of fluid in the wound and these usually stay for a few days after the operation.
Depending on a number of factors including how much accompanying soft tissue is required with the bone flap, the muscles of the lower abdominal wall can be weakened by the surgery. This is pre-emptively addressed with a mesh type repair at the time of surgery to reduce this.
Some patients experience some numbness or altered sensation to part of the thigh, but this doesn’t seem to cause too much trouble for patients.