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Engineering a New Era: Will Autogenous Tissue Remain the Gold Standard for Head and Neck Reconstruction?

The evolution of head and neck reconstruction dates to approximately 1000 BC, when Sushruta, the father of Indian surgery, introduced the
the theory for arguably the first regional pedicled flap in rhinoplasty. Ancient Egyptian, Greek, Persian, and Indian civilizations expanded on this medical marvel by contributing to discoveries in human anatomy, whereas Roman physicians described possibilities for local tissue rearrangements for nearly all segments of the face.

After centuries of advancements through different eras with varying types of tissue transfer, the pioneering of free flap surgery dominated the 1960s and 1970s, most notably the fibular osseous and iliac osteocutaneous flaps.  Although the history of head and neck reconstructive surgery is rich and extensive, the surgical community may have reason to believe that methodologic change is on the horizon.

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