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Revista Española de Cirugía Oral y Maxilofacial

On-line version ISSN 2173-9161Print version ISSN 1130-0558


DEAN FERRER, A. et al. Lateral arm flap in oral cavity reconstruction. Rev Esp Cirug Oral y Maxilofac [online]. 2008, vol.30, n.4, pp.246-254. ISSN 2173-9161.

Introduction. The availability of easily pliable skin has allowed the functional reconstruction of oral cavity defects. Although the radial forearm free flap is the most frequently used flap for the reconstruction of surface defects of the oral cavity, the lateral arm free flap may be preferable in some situations. Objectives. The aim of the present paper is to show the advantages and disadvantages and our indications and results for the lateral arm flap in intraoral reconstruction. Material and methods. This is a prospective work on the use of the lateral arm free flap for the reconstruction of oral cavity defects after ablative surgery. The parameters that have been evaluated are: flap viability, morbidity in the donor site, length of the pedicle, selection of recipient vessels, complications and functional results in the reconstructed area. Results. The lateral arm flap has been used in primary reconstruction after ablative surgery for squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity in ten patients. One flap was lost because of venous thrombosis. The donor site was repaired by direct closure in 8 cases and a split thickness skin graft had to be used in 2 cases. Mean pedicle length was 8.75 cm. In 9 cases a favorable functional result was achieved. Conclusions. Fasciocutaneous lateral arm flap allows the reconstruction of oral cavity defects achieving good functional results. Morbidity in the donor site is minimal and, in most cases, direct closure permits the repair of the donor site.

Keywords : Free flaps; Oral cavity defects; Oral cavity reconstruction; Lateral arm free flap; Radial free flap.

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