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A Journal on Dentistry and Maxillofacial Surgery
Minerva Stomatologica 2007 June;56(6):349-58
language: English, Italian
The free fibula flap for treating benign mandibular lesions
Biglioli F., Pedrazzoli M., Autelitano L., Colletti G., Brusati R.
Unit of Maxillofacial Surgery, San Paolo Hospital University of Milan, Milan, Italy
A variety of benign lesions that are typically treated conservatively can affect the mandible. The treatment must be radical when these lesions are locally aggressive and involve the perimandibular soft tissues or involve most of the thickness of the mandible. The main treatment is mandibular resection and reconstruction with bone grafts, mainly iliac crest bone grafts for segmental mandibulectomy or a calvaria bone graft for resection without interruption of the mandible body. These grafts are limited due to the possibility of infection and the unpredictable long-term resorption. Free flap surgery, particularly with fibula free flaps, represents a new era in mandibular reconstruction. This technique has similar donor site morbidity, while the transferred bone resists infection and bone resorption. These advantages are achieved at the cost of a procedure that is about 1 h longer when performed by an experienced microsurgical team. We report our experience with mandibular reconstruction following the surgical resection of benign lesions in 7 patients. All the reconstructions had good results. After reconstruction, the facial morphology showed restored symmetry of the lower third profile in all patients. The functional results were satisfactory, with restored mandibular function in all cases. No signs of recurrence have appeared in any patient after a mean follow-up of 24 months.