Purpura fulminans (PF) is a rare syndrome of intravascular thrombosis and haemorrhagic infarction of the skin. The initial symptom of PF is peripheral purpura which progresses to necrosis very rapidly. The prognosis of PF is poor, and the mortality is reported to be around 40%. Even if the patient survives, the patient may require amputation or reconstruction for limbs and facial necrosis.
A 48-year-old male suffered from PF following a left cerebellopontine angle tumour excision. His nose and upper lip fell into necrosis afterwards. We performed nose and upper lip reconstruction at 8 months after the onset. We used a forehead flap for the nasal reconstruction and a free forearm flap for the lining. His upper lip was reconstructed with bilateral nasolabial orbicularis oris myocutaneous flaps.
The colour and texture match of the reconstructed nose and lip is good. He could open his mouth wide enough and close completely.
Facial reconstruction after PF is very difficult, because the patient has extensive scarring around the defect and there is little intact facial tissue. However, we performed a facial reconstruction using local flaps as much as possible, and obtained good results.
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Published online: July 28, 2011
Accepted: July 4, 2011
Received: March 30, 2011
© 2011 British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.