Head and Neck

Dr Belt is a member of The Princess Alexandra Hospital's Head and Neck Clinic. This Department has an international reputation in the resection and reconstruction of Head and Neck malignancies.

Meet Paul Belt

The Procedure

Head and neck reconstruction is required in many situations, including :

  • After the removal of large cancers
  • Trauma victims
  • Burns victims
  • Congenital anomalies

Often many tissues types need to be replaced in order to restore the function and form to the head and neck region.

Dr. Belt is able to offer the following modailities of reconstruction:

Skin grafting to areas of skin loss

e.g. following burn injuries, and extensive de-gloving injuries of the skin.

Local flap reconstruction

Local tissue can be used and transferred using flaps to restore soft tissue cover. These flaps are very safe in the head and neck region due to the rich blood supply in this part of the body.

Regional flap reconstruction

Reliable tissue can be transferred based on the vascular pedicles of the head, neck and chest region.

Free flap reconstruction

More complex defects require the use of free tissue transfer. This is where a reliable block of tissue is moved from one area to another and its blood supply is restored using microsurgical techniques.

Revascularisation and replantation

Microsurgical reconstruction is used to restore a blood supply to a region when it has been divided (e.g. scalping type injuries or after the amputation of all or part of the nose and ear), or to restore blood flow when interrupted by trauma (e.g. crush injury).

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Complications and Risks

All Procedures have potential complications and risks. These can be divided into general complications and those specific to each procedure. The latter are listed in the FAQs below.

General complications include:

  • Wound complications - bleeding, bruising, collections under the skin of blood (haematoma), pus (abscess), serous fluid (seroma), infection, wound breakdown, suture extrusion, sensory loss;
  • Aesthetic complications - poor scars, stretched scars, raised scars (keloid or hypertrophic), contour irregularities, need for revisional procedure;
  • Anaesthetic complications

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