Tripaddled Anterolateral Thigh Flap for the Reconstruction of Extensively Full-Thickness Cheek Defects by Stacking Two Skin Paddles as Kiss Pattern

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Extended anterolateral thigh (ALT) flap can provide a large amount of skin to reconstruct the extensively full-thickness defects of cheek. However when the width of 1 skin paddle exceeds 8 cm, it always results in that the donor site cannot be closed primarily and need to be covered by split-thickness skin grafting, which delivers lots of impacts on the functional and cosmetic outcome of the thigh. The aim of this study was to introduce the authors’ modification of stacking 2 skin paddles of the tripaddled ALT flap to reconstruct the extensive full-thickness defects in the cheek after the radical ablasion of advanced buccal squamous cell carcinoma. Ten patients of advanced buccal squamous cell carcinoma between March 2014 and December 2016 were enrolled in the authors’ hospital. All the patients were received the soft-tissue reconstructions for the extensively full-thickness cheek defects by using the tripaddled ALT chimeric flaps. Among 3 skin paddles, the distal paddle was used to reconstruct the inner mucosa defect, and the other 2 large skin paddles were stacked side by side for outer mega cheek defect. The mean area of the intraoral defect was 32.2 cm2 and the mean area of the extraoral defect was 106.34 cm2. The mean width of the outer skin defect was 9.5 cm. All the flaps survived and all the donor sites were closed primarily. So, stacking 2 skin paddles of a tripaddled ALT flap as a kiss pattern is a novel modification on conventional flap design to provide customized coverage for extensive and full-thickness buccal defects while minimizing donor-site morbidity.

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