Repair of Recurrent Cleft Palate With Free Vastus Lateralis Muscle Flap

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Abstract

A 6-year-old girl presented with a large recalcitrant oronasal fistula after bilateral cleft lip and palate repair and numerous secondary attempts at fistula closure. Incomplete palmar arches precluded a free radial forearm flap. A free vastus lateralis muscle flap was successfully transferred. No fistula recurrence was observed at 18 months. There was no perceived thigh weakness. The surgical scar healed inconspicuously. Free flaps should no longer be considered the last resort for treatment of recalcitrant fistulas after cleft palate repair. A free vastus lateralis muscle flap is an excellent alternative, and possibly a superior option, to other previously described free flaps.

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