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J Craniomaxillofac Surg. 2005 Oct;33(5):334-9.

Superiorly based and island masseter muscle flaps for repairing oropharyngeal defects.

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  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Dental School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.



Tumours of the posterior part of the mouth and/or the oropharynx are often diagnosed at advanced stages. Reconstruction in this region has advanced considerably during the last three decades. Although microsurgery has offered major progress and has obviously improved the patients' outcome, the use of local and regional flaps generally remains an ideal solution for reconstruction.


Between January 1994 and December 2001, the defects resulting from resection in 22 out of 38 patients with retromolar and/or anterior faucial pillar squamous cell carcinomas treated at this institution, were repaired by one of two types of masseter muscle flaps. The first type is the superiorly based or cross-over masseter muscle flap, and the second type the island muscle flap (being a modification of the first type).


The superiorly based masseter muscle flap was used in 12 patients and the island masseter muscle flap in 10. Both techniques offer a quick and reliable method for repairing oropharyngeal defects in oncologically "safe" cases. Neither require elaborate technique or aftercare.


The island masseter muscle flap has an advantage over the superiorly based masseteric flap, as it is more flexible, pliable for larger defects, and causes no postoperative trismus.

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