Radial Forearm Osteocutaneous Free Flap for Reconstruction of Hard Palate With Alveolar Defect

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Abstract

The radial forearm free flap is beneficial for reconstruction of large palatal defect with oronasal fistula.

A 51-year-old male patient who had anterior palate defect including alveolus after the radiation therapy of malignant cancer on the nasopharyngeal area undertook the radial forearm osteocutaneous free flap to close the oronasal fisula and restore the alveolar arch. The small radial bone segment was fixed in the alveolar defect and vascular anastomoses were performed with facial vessels in neck. The donor site was closed with split thickness skin graft. All suture wounds in the oral and nasal side had healed primarily with no complication within 1 month. The patient was able to swallow soluble foods in the 3 weeks postoperatively without the leakage phenomena in the nose and decreased hypernasality nature in his speech. Grafted bone union at alveolus was confirmed by follow-up computed tomography scan. There was no complication at left forearm donor site with intact musculoskeletal function.

Radial forearm osteocutaneous free flap is a versatile option for its capability of reconstruction in complicated defect of soft and hard plate with alveolar defect.

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