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J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2009 Dec;67(12):2577-82. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2009.07.045.

Serratus anterior free flap in oral reconstruction.

Author information

1
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany. tavassol.frank@mh-hannover.de

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Perforating oral and maxillofacial defects frequently cause severe functional disorders. Microvascular free flaps like the radial forearm flap and the latissimus dorsi flap have been described to cover those defects; however, harvest of the radial forearm flap causes remarkable donor-site morbidity, while the latissimus dorsi flap often turns out to be too bulky. Therefore we introduce the serratus anterior muscle as a versatile and reliable microvascular flap to cover defects of both the floor of the mouth and the maxilla.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Between 2003 and 2007, 10 oral defects were reconstructed using the serratus anterior flap. In 5 of the cases, the defects were located at the hard palate and maxilla, while in the other cases they were located in the floor of the mouth.

RESULTS:

All of the patients were able to feed orally within the first week postoperatively. Donor-site morbidity was observed to be negligible not least because of the achievement of primary tension-free wound closure. Successful reconstruction could be observed in 8 of 10 patients.

CONCLUSION:

Although the serratus anterior muscle flap lacks an epithelial layer, this flap is not restricted to a subcutaneous placement. Due to rapid epithelialization, the serratus anterior muscle is even suitable for perforating intraoral defects.

PMID:
19925974
DOI:
10.1016/j.joms.2009.07.045
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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