New procedures in the field of reconstructive surgery place more emphasis on the reconstruction of form and function. An important aspect is the touch perception of the transplanted tissue surface. The results of this study, involving the free radial forearm flap and the latissimus dorsi flap, allow the assumption that a nerve reconstruction is not necessary, because good reinnervation in most parts of the flaps can be observed. Merkel cells can be found within the hairy skin of most body regions. For the detection of Merkel cells CK 20 antibodies were used. Seven days after operation as well as after 2 and 4 months postoperative, CK 20-positive cells were found in the transplant. These results correlated with good recovery of touch perception.
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