Tissue expansion is a common technique in reconstructive surgery used to resurface damaged areas such as burns, birth defects or after tumor removal. The procedure is characterized by the inflation of a balloon below the skin that leads to three-dimensional dome-like shapes of tissue. Skin then needs to be cut to create a flap, which is extended to cover the excised area. The latter procedure, called flap design, has been empirically studied and advantages and disadvantages of the use of one type of flap over another have been discussed [1]. However, to date, flap design has never been optimized from a mechanical point of view.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.