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Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2015 Aug;39(4):562-9. doi: 10.1007/s00266-015-0512-x. Epub 2015 Jun 5.

Use of Extended Lateral Upper Arm Free Flap for Tongue Reconstruction After Radical Glossectomy for Tongue Cancer.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Nanjing Stomatological Hospital, Medical School of Nanjing University, No. 30 Zhong Yang Rd, Nanjing, 210008, People's Republic of China.



This study evaluated the safety and effectiveness of the extended lateral arm free flap (ELAFF) for repair of partial tongue defects after radical resection of tongue cancer.


The study included nine consecutive patients who underwent repair of a partial tongue defect with an ELAFF after radical resection of tongue cancer from November 2010 to December 2013. Lesions were at the tip or margin of the tongue. Details of the reconstructive surgery, donor-site and recipient-site morbidity, and functional and esthetic outcomes were evaluated during a minimum of 12 months follow-up. Patient-reported Visual Analog Scale (VAS) scores on a scale of 0 (minimum satisfaction) to 10 (maximum satisfaction) were used to evaluate esthetic outcomes.


All patients were followed up for 12 months (median 24 months). The overall survival rate was 88 % (8/9). The donor site was closed primarily in all patients. The most frequent donor-site morbidity was a broad scar. Poor functional outcomes were associated with postoperative adjuvant radiotherapy. The shape and function of the reconstructed tongue were satisfactory. VAS scores (mean ± SD) for patient satisfaction with recipient-site and donor-site esthetics were 6.92 ± 1.70 and 7.33 ± 2.01, respectively.


The ELAFF is a safe and effective option for repair of partial tongue defects after radical resection of tongue cancer.


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