After performing a V-Y advancement flap, we observed an unusually shaped necrosis, resembling a keyhole at the apex of the flap. As high closing tensions are an accepted cause of skin necrosis, we developed a mathematical model based on the finite element analysis in order to determine the stress field by simulating the mechanical behavior of human skin during suture and to explain this particular shape of necrosis. For the modeling, a planar nonlinear two-dimensional finite element model was used. The numerical simulation was carried out with Ansys® v12 software. Results are expressed in numerical and graphic form. The shape of the vertical iso-stress line for a stress equal to 18.8 kPa was similar to the necrosis observed in our clinical case. Similarities between the shape of necrosis and the calculated stress field at the apex of the V-Y advancement flap indicate the major role of skin tension in this necrosis. Finite element analysis is an original approach for describing the particular shape of a necrosis. Although many factors can be implicated in skin necrosis, the modeling confirms the role of tension in the necrosis of this particular case. Level of Evidence: Level V, risk/prognostic study
European Journal of Plastic Surgery – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 1, 2013
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