Continuous Validity of Temporalis Muscle Flap in Reconstruction of Postablative Palatomaxillary Defects

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Postablative palatomaxillary defects (PAPMDs) represent a challenging reconstructive problem. Temporalis muscle flap (TMF) has been widely used for reconstruction of these defects with minimal morbidity and satisfactory outcome.

Aim of the Study:

To presents the authors’ experience in the reconstruction of PAPMDs with TMF and to evaluate the validity of TMF in the reconstruction of such defects.


This prospective study was conducted between July 2011 and July 2016 on selected patients for primary reconstruction of PAPMDs with TMF. Temporalis muscle flaps were assessed during surgery and postoperatively. Patients were followed up to evaluate functional and esthetic outcomes and detect complications.


This study included 32 patients with mean age 48.3 years. The pathology was squamous cell carcinoma in 15 patients (46.9%). Twenty-one patients (65.6%) had type II maxillectomy. Mean time of flap harvesting was 43 minutes. Zygomatic arch osteotomy was done in 3 patients while Coronoid osteotomy in 4 patients. Postoperatively, flaps were viable in 31 patients (96.9%) with good healing of recipient site. Flap epithelization completed within 28 to 59 days. Follow-up period was 13 to 55 months. Satisfactory functional and esthetic outcomes were reported in most of patients with no recurrence. Transient temporal nerve palsy occurred in 2 patients, limited mouth opening in 5 patients. One patient had Transient diplopia with enopthalmos and hypophthalmos. Flap failure occurred in another patient.


Temporalis muscle flap is still a valid reliable and versatile reconstructive tool in palatomaxillary reconstruction after ablative surgery. It has a good cosmetic and functional outcomes and minimal morbidity.

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