Indications of Free Grafts in Mandibular Reconstruction, after Removing Benign Tumors: Treatment Algorithm

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Mandibular reconstruction has been the subject of much debate and research in the fields of maxillofacial surgery and head and neck surgery.

Materials and Methods:

A retrospective observational study was undertaken with 14 patients diagnosed with benign tumorous pathologies and who underwent immediate mandibular resection and reconstruction at the Hospital del Salvador Maxillofacial Surgery Unit and Dr. Rodrigo Fariña’s private clinic between the years 2002 and 2012. We propose a treatment algorithm, which is previous teeth extractions in area that will be removed.


Fourteen patients underwent surgery, and a total of 40 dental implants were installed in 6 men and 8 women, the mean age of 33.5 (age range, 14–58 y). Reconstruction with iliac crest bone graft, and rehabilitation following this protocol (average of reconstruction was 8.7 cm), was successful with no complications at all in 12 patients. One patient had a minor complication, and the graft was partially reabsorbed because of communication of the graft with the oral cavity. This complication did not impede rehabilitation with dental implants. Another patient suffered the total loss of the graft due to infection because of dehiscence of oral mucosa and great communication with the mouth. Another iliac crest free graft reconstruction was undertaken 6 months later.


The scientific evidence suggests that mandibular reconstruction using free grafts following the removal of benign tumors is a biologically sustainable alternative. The critical factor to improve the prognosis of free grafts reconstruction in benign tumors is to have good quality soft tissue and avoid communication with the oral cavity. For this, it is vital to do dental extractions before removing the tumor.

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