Six Years Clinical Experience With the Dorsally Pedicled Buccal Musculomucosal Flap

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A dorsal pedicled buccal musculomucosal flap was developed to reconstruct medium-sized intraoral defects, too large for primary closure if major functional and esthetic impairment is to be avoided. Although free flaps, axial, or perforator flaps are excellent in large defects, they may not provide mucosal sensitivity, motility, volume, and texture to replace lost structures with similar tissue.

Twenty-five flaps were performed in 24 patients, 1(bilateral) up to a flap-size of 60 × 35 mm, in average 45 × 34 mm. Reconstructed became the lateral mouth floor, lateral oral vestibule, lateral tongue margin, the oropharynx, hard and soft palate.

Partial necrosis occurred in 1 flap, 22 (92%) patients recovered with good objective as subjective speech and swallowing, esthetics, and if necessary prosthetic rehabilitation. The donor site was closed primarily, mimics and mouth opening resolved after less than 3 months. The parotid duct had to be marsupialized in large flap preparations, never provoking stasis or infection. The 2-point sensitivity of the flaps was in average equal to the nonoperated mucosa in intraindividual correlation and the flaps lost in average 10% of their original size; 5 (21%) had weakness inflating their cheeks postoperatively.

The results indicate dorsal pedicled buccal musculomucosal flap to be reliable and technically easy for reconstructing lateral intraoral, medium-sized defect that yields sensitivity, merely risking occasional buccal muscle weakness but facilitating the rehabilitation of oral function.

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