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Application of Lateral Arm Free Flap in Oral and Maxillofacial Reconstruction following Tumor SurgerySong X. · Yuan Y. · Tao Z. · Wu H. · Yuan H. · Wu Y.
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Stomatological College, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China Corresponding Author
Dr. Yu-nong Wu
No. 136 Hanzhong Avenue
Nanjing, Jiangsu Province 210029 (China)
Tel. +86 25 8503 1871, Fax +86 25 8651 6414
Objective: To describe the application of lateral arm free flap (LAFF) in reconstruction of defects in the oral and maxillofacial regions following ablative oncological surgery. Subjects and Methods: The study included 16 patients (13 male, 3 female, mean age 56, range 35–69 years). Sixteen LAFF were harvested to reconstruct defects caused by the dissection of malignant tumors of the oral and maxillofacial regions. The tumor was squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue (6 cases), floor of the mouth (4), retromolar area (3), inner cheek (2), and lower gingival (1). Flap sizes ranging from 5 × 7 to 6 × 9 cm were harvested using a sterile tourniquet for bloodless technique. The anastomoses were carried out using a magnifier or microscope. All donor defects were closed primarily. Results: Fourteen flaps healed without venous insufficiency. One flap, in a female patient, survived with mild local microcirculatory obstruction but that of another female patient developed necrosis. There was no significant complication at the donor sites. The advantages of this flap include anatomically reliable vascular supply, accessible donor site, and the aesthetic quality of donor tissue is good. Compared with the radial artery, the posterior radial collateral artery is a nonessential vessel of the arm. The disadvantages are the relatively smaller vessel size for anastomosis and thicker subcutaneous tissue. Conclusions: For the repair of moderate-sized defects of the maxillofacial area, especially in male patients, the LAFF can be recommended.
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