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J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2013 Jan;66(1):23-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2012.08.027. Epub 2012 Sep 11.

The cervico-submental keystone island flap for locoregional head and neck reconstruction.

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  • 1Department of Surgical Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, St Andrews Pl, East Melbourne, Victoria 3002, Australia.



Locally advanced head and neck cancer often requires wide resections of the cheek and parotid gland, and in an ageing population preferred reconstructive options aim to avoid lengthy operating times or high risk surgery. While most large parotid defects traditionally require free flap reconstruction, we describe a new and versatile locoregional flap that has been shown to be reliable, simple and safe.


We describe the cervico-submental (CSM) keystone-design perforator island flap for head and neck reconstruction, including an analysis of 33 consecutive patients with a range of head and neck defects. The flap was raised based on perforators of the external carotid artery and its branches, and designed to overlay the C2/C3 dermatomes (an aide memoire for flap design). The indications, and surgical technique are described.


In 33 consecutive patients, no major complications were encountered. Five patients developed superficial infections, one developed post-operative bleeding and one patient developed partial tip necrosis. Theatre time was considerably shorter than our alternative reconstructive options.


The CSM keystone-design perforator island flap is a novel and versatile flap, which can be used in a range of advanced cheek and parotidectomy defects, and may enable improved surgical management in an increasingly elderly and high-risk population.

Copyright © 2012 British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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