Total Cheek Reconstruction Using the Pre-Expanded Medial Arm Flap With Functional and Aesthetic Donor Site Closure

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This clinical study aimed at introducing a reconstructive method for total cheek soft tissue defects using the pre-expanded medial arm flap and to maximally reduce donor site morbidities simultaneously. A retrospective review of data was performed for 3 patients requiring the pre-expanded medial arm flap to reconstruct total cheek defects. The donor site in the medial arm was primarily closed using a pedicle parascapular or thoracodorsal artery perforator flap. All patients had a total unilateral cheek defect after lesion removal. Three pre-expanded medial arm flaps measuring 17 × 11 cm, 22 × 15 cm, and 20 × 15 cm were separately used for cheek defect reconstruction. The donor sites in the medial arm were closed using a pedicle parascapular flap, measuring 22 × 9.5 cm, and 2 pedicle thoracodorsal artery perforator flaps, measuring 22 × 10 cm and 23 × 10 cm. No major complications occurred in any patient. Patients were followed up for 3, 12, and 18 months. Patients (and/or their family members) were satisfied with the final outcomes. Total cheek defect reconstruction using a pre-expanded medial arm flap, with the donor site closed using a pedicle axial back flap, can not only provide sufficient tissue for cheek resurfacing, but also guarantee primary donor site closure and could be an alternative reconstructive option for patients who have a total cheek defect.

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