Free tissue transfer for adult mandibular reconstruction is a well-established technique; however, there are few reports of pediatric microvascular lower jaw reconstruction.Methods:
This retrospective study was undertaken to review the range of indications, choices, safety, and efficacy of pediatric free tissue transfer to the lower jaw. All patients underwent a parascapular, scapular, or fibula free tissue transfer. Flap choice was based on preoperative clinical examination, radiographic findings, need for linear or multiplanar mandibular reconstruction, need for dental restoration, severity of soft-tissue deficit, and peroneal artery anatomy.Results:
Over a 10-year period (1989 to 1999), we performed eight free tissue transfers to reconstruct the mandibles of seven children, aged 6 to 17 years. Indications included radiation-induced hypoplasia (n = 1), postsurgical resection of fibrous dysplasia (n = 1), hemifacial microsomia (n = 3), Robin sequence with severe micrognathia (n = 1), and osteomyelitis (n = 1). The authors transferred four parascapular osseocutaneous, two scapular osseocutaneous, one fibular osseocutaneous, and one fibular osseous flap to reconstruct five ramus, four condyle, and two subtotal mandibular defects. All bony defects were successfully bridged and all osseous flaps successfully integrated. Postoperatively, mandibular symmetry and Angle class I occlusion were restored in all patients throughout the 10.5-year follow-up period (range, 9 to 14 years). Two patients received osseointegrated dental implants. Our only complication was the partial loss of a skin paddle.Conclusion:
Microvascular reconstruction of the pediatric mandible, in selected patients, is a safe, reliable procedure that provides the bone stock and soft tissue necessary to restore normal maxillomandibular growth and dental rehabilitation.