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Lancet Oncol. 2010 Oct;11(10):1001-8. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(10)70113-3.

Reconstruction of the maxilla and midface: introducing a new classification.

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Department of Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospital Aintree, Liverpool, UK.


Most patients requiring midface reconstruction have had ablative surgery for malignant disease, and most require postoperative radiotherapy. This type of facial reconstruction attracts controversy, not only because of the many reconstructive options, but also because dental and facial prostheses can be very successful in selected cases. This Personal View is based on a new classification of the midface defect, which emphasises the increasing complexity of the problem. Low defects not involving the orbital adnexae can often be successfully treated with dental obturators. For the more extensive maxillary defects, there is consensus that a free flap is required. Composite flaps of bone and muscle harvested from the iliac crest with internal oblique or the scapula tip with latissimus dorsi can more reliably support the orbit and cheek than soft-tissue free flaps and non-vascularised grafts, and also enable an implant-borne dental or orbital prosthesis. Nasomaxillary defects usually require bone to augment the loss of the nasal bones, but orbitomaxillary cases can be managed more simply with local or soft-tissue free flaps. We review the current options and our own experience over the past 15 years in an attempt to rationalise the management of these defects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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