TONGUE RECONSTRUCTION WITH MINIMAL DONOR SITE MORBIDITY USING A DEEP INFERIOR EPIGASTRIC PERFORATOR (DIEP) FREE FLAP IN A 6-YEAR-OLD GIRL

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Abstract

Tongue reconstruction was performed using a deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) free flap in a 6-year-old girl with undifferentiated sarcoma of the tongue. After hemi-glossectomy with upper neck dissection, a 3-lobed DIEP free flap was used for the reconstruction. Donor site was closed primarily with suturing umbilicus in proper position. No flap loss, leakage, or infection occurred. Postoperatively, the patient was able to consume a normal diet without difficulty or aspiration and displayed good speech function. No donor site morbidity, e.g., herniation or bulging, was observed, and the patient was able to perform their normal daily activities. DIEP flaps provide a pliable skin paddle, an adequate amount of adipose tissue, and reduced donor site morbidity, even in children. We did not have any difficulty harvesting the DIEP flap or with the microvascular anastomosis. We consider DIEP free flaps to be the ideal option for pediatric tongue reconstruction. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Microsurgery 33:487–490, 2013.

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