Pectoralis Major Musculocutaneous Flap With a Midline Sternal Skin Paddle for Head and Neck Reconstruction: A New Design

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PurposeThe pectoralis major musculocutaneous (PMMC) flap is a classic flap for head and neck reconstruction, relatively unpopular with the advancement of microsurgery and free flaps. The classic parasternal paddle design provided a thick flap with a small rotation arch leaving objectionable scarring. Our new symmetric midsternal design overcomes these problems.MethodsChart review was done from the years 2000 to 2017. Flap skin paddle was placed symmetrically on both sides of the midsternal line. The pectoralis major (PM) muscle and aponeurosis were attached in the lateral half of the skin paddle. Most of PM muscle was elevated with the thoracoacromial vessel and dissected to the main trunk, where the PM muscle was cut and used for bulk. The flap was transferred to the neck and lower mandibular area. The flap was inset either supraclavicularly, covering the anterior neck, or subclavicularly, for intraoral/maxillary defects.ResultsEight patients underwent head and neck reconstruction using the new design of PMMC flap between the years 2000 and 2017. The etiologies of the defect were radiation necrosis in 3 patients, repair of cutaneous fistulas in 3, recurrent hypopharyngeal cancer in 1, and recurrent tongue cancer in 1 patient. There were no flap losses or major complications.ConclusionsWith the advancement of free-flap techniques, the classic flaps have become less popular. Our new design supplements the PMMC flap by providing a thin pliable flap with a long pedicle and rotation arc, allowing a combination of different types of flaps to cover composite head and neck defects, especially in cases that lack a reliable recipient vessel due to radiation.

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