Through a profound and constantly developing understanding of the human body, plastic surgeons have identified small but consistently present blood vessels to various tissues. This includes skin, fat, muscle and bone. These tissues can then be separated from the surrounding tissue and the blood vessels that supply these tissues meticulously isolated with great care. The tissue, being kept alive by its supplying blood vessels, can then be moved to bring tissue where it has been lost. This is a skill used for reconstruction of oncologic (cancer) defects, traumatic defects and other wounds.
The tissue can be transferred while attached to its blood supply, this is known as a tissue flap. Or the blood supply can be divided and re-attached in its new location, this is known as a free flap. Free flap reconstruction requires a technically skilled and devoted team. Grand Strand Medical Center is proud to provide this cutting edge service to the Myrtle Beach area. It opens the door for new reconstructive options for breast cancer patients, options for limb salvage to so many trauma patients in the regions only Level 1 Trauma Center and countless other applications which will benefit our patients.