Management considerations in reconstruction of postablative defects of the mandible: vertical distraction of a scapular bone flap and removable lip support: a case report

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To describe vertical distraction osteogenesis of a scapular flap and removable lip support for oral rehabilitation after surgical creation of an ablative defect of the mandible.

Case report

A 70-year-old man who was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the left lower gingiva underwent segmental mandibulectomy for tumor ablation and reconstruction with a scapular bone flap. To augment bone height of this flap, vertical distraction osteogenesis was performed. After denture fabrication, a removable lip support was placed between the implant-supported denture and the lower lip.


The bone height of the scapular bone flap increased by 9 mm. Implants with adequate length could be placed in the distracted bone. The lip support was effective. Two years after masticatory loading, the implants remained stable.


Vertical distraction osteogenesis of the scapular bone flap was suitable to facilitate postoperative functional and esthetic restoration after tumor resection. A removable lip support was also useful as a supplementary tool for oral rehabilitation.

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