Background Multiple studies have detailed promising smile restoration following gracilis free muscle transfer for facial reanimation but information detailing the potential complications is lacking. The aim of this study is to systematically review the literature to evaluate the reported complication rate associated with this procedure. We also aim to determine the most common occurring complications. Methods The PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science databases were queried with multiple search strategies for published articles between January 1950 and February 2013 that detailed gracilis free muscle transfer for facial reanimation. Title, abstract, and full text review was performed. Complications were defined as any reported, identifiable adverse outcome that required an alteration in treatment for correction. Results The literature search yielded 62 studies of gracilis free muscle transfer for facial reanimation. Overall, 36 articles (58%) reported whether or not a complication had occurred. The overall complication rate based on pooled proportions was 9.6% and the most commonly occurring complications were postoperative hematoma (3.6%) and infection (3.5%). Conclusions Our data suggests that complications after gracilis free muscle transfer for facial reanimation may be underreported and this complex procedure may in fact be associated with significant adverse outcomes as high as 9.6%.
- facial reanimation
ASJC Scopus subject areas