West China Journal of Stomatology

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Application of 1 212 anterolateral thigh myocutaneous flaps in the repair of oral and maxillofacial defects

Ren Zhenhu1,2, Wu Hanjiang2, Tan Hongyu2, Wang Kai2, Gong Zhaojian2, Zhang Sheng2, Liu Jinbing2, Zhu Zhaofu2.   

  1. 1. Dept. of Oral and Maxillofacial & Head and Neck Oncology, Ninth People’s Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200011, China; 2. Dept. of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha 410011, China
  • Online:2015-06-01 Published:2015-06-01


Objective  To examine the benefits of anterolateral thigh myocutaneous flaps in reconstruction of oral and maxillofacial defects. Methods  Patients were recruited from February 2002 to June 2013 in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery of Central South University. All patients (1 185 patients, 1 212 transferred flaps) underwent reconstructive surgery employing anterolateral thigh myocutaneous flaps. Basic information for all patients including defect side, flap size and type, recipient vessel processing method, donor complications, and postoperative quality of life were recorded and statistically analyzed. Results  Among the 1 212 transferred flaps, 1 176 survived and 36 showed necrosis, for a survival rate of about 97.0%. No cases presented with local serious complications, and 90% of patients achieved good functional recovery and aesthetically acceptable results after reconstruction of oral and maxillofacial defects at various locations using anterolateral thigh myocutaneous flaps. The time for anastomosis of one vein was significantly less than that for two veins (P=0.000 3), which indicated one vein anastomosis could significantly reduce the operating time. The incidence of venous crisis, the survival rate after treatment, and the rate of venous crisis resulting in flap necrosis were comparable between the groups (P>0.05). Conclusion  Anterolateral thigh myocutaneous flaps can be easily obtained and provide a good amount of muscle for filling dead space and fascia lata. These flaps can meet the various requirements of oral and maxillofacial defects. Therefore, the anterolateral thigh myocutaneous free flaps are more suitable for oral and maxillofacial defects than other flaps.

Key words: anterolateral thigh myocutaneous flap, oral cancer, oral and maxillofacial defects