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ITALIAN JOURNAL OF MAXILLOFACIAL SURGERY
A Journal on Maxillofacial Surgery
Official Journal of the Italian Society of Maxillofacial Surgery
Rivista Italiana di Chirurgia Maxillo-Facciale 2005 January-December;16(1-3):27-32
The submental island flap in oral defects reconstruction
Ferrari S., Multinu A., Balestreri A., Ferri A., Sesenna E.
Department of Maxillo-Facial Surgery University and Hospital of Parma, Italy
Aim. In 1993, Martin et al described the submental island flap for reconstructing the oral cavity. We analyzed our clinical experiences with the submental flap for intraoral reconstruction after tumor resection.
Methods. Between August 2001 and May 2005, we used this reconstruction technique in 9 patients who underwent oncological resection involving different regions of the floor of the mouth. Five of the patients were male, and four were female; the mean patient age was 68 years.
Results. All the flap were harvested and trasposed successfully. Complications encountered were one case of temporary palsy of the marginal mandibular branch of the facial nerve and one case of orocutaneous fistula. The donor site was closed primarily with no cases of infection or dehiscence, and the results have been satisfactory.
Conclusion. The submental island flap is a good option for reconstructing intraoral defects for several reason: good capacity for correcting defects in almost all areas of the oral cavity, especially the cheek mucosa and upper maxillary defects; very low morbidity at the donor site; closure at the donor site by simple suture of the margins, without skin grafts; good esthetic and functional results.