Impact of different surgical protocols on dimensional changes of free soft tissue autografts: A randomized controlled trial

Akemi Arzouman, David E. Deas, Michael P. Mills, Guy Huynh-Ba, Thomas J. Prihoda, Brian L. Mealey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: To determine if there is a difference in the amount of shrinkage during healing of free soft tissue autografts (FSTAs) using different surgical techniques—suturing the vestibular flap margin apically to the base of the recipient bed versus leaving the flap margin free and unsutured. Methods: Twenty-eight patients with mucogingival defects requiring FSTAs were recruited and enrolled in the study. Patients were randomized into test and control groups (14 per group) and received ≥1 FSTAs on non-molar mandibular teeth. In the test group the mucosal flap margin was sutured apically to the periosteum at the base of the graft; whereas, the mucosal flap margin in the control group was left free. Graft dimensional measurements were taken at time of surgery, then at 1, 3, and 6 months post-surgery. Results: Thirty-five grafts were performed (15 test, 20 control). All FSTAs experienced vertical shrinkage after 6 months, but there was no significant difference (P = 0.51) in the mean amount of shrinkage after 6 months between the test (23.20% ± 20.88%) and control (21.10% ± 21.88%) groups. There was significantly greater horizontal shrinkage in the test (loss of 7.59% ± 10.20%) compared with the control (small gain of 0.32% ± 4.20%) group (P = 0.01). Conclusions: The findings suggest that there is similar vertical shrinkage when performing FSTA surgery when the mucosal flap margin is left free and unsutured when compared with leaving the flap margin free.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-53
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of periodontology
Volume92
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • autografts
  • autologous transplantation
  • free tissue flaps
  • gingiva
  • gingival recession

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics

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