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Ann Maxillofac Surg. 2018 Jul-Dec;8(2):287-291. doi: 10.4103/ams.ams_225_18.

The Submental Island Flap in Head and Neck Cancer.

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Department of Surgical and Radiation Oncology, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Center, Lahore, Pakistan.



The submental flap provides an alternative technique in orofacial reconstruction, especially in situations where free flap services are not available. The objective of this study is to demonstrate the oncological safety and benefits of this flap in oral cavity reconstruction in a tertiary care cancer hospital.

Materials and Methods:

A total of 27 patients with oral cavity cancers, which underwent submental flap reconstruction from 2015 to 2017 at Shaukat Khanum Cancer Memorial Hospital, were included in the study. We have retrospectively reviewed records of these patients.


There were 25 male and 2 female patients with age ranging from 21 to 73 years. Most common primary tumor sites were buccal mucosa (13), tongue (7), and lower alveolus (7). All patients underwent ipsilateral selective neck dissection after flap was harvested. Complete flap loss was observed in three, whereas one patient had flap dehiscence that subsequently healed. Mean follow-up was 11 months. There were four regional recurrences but no local recurrence. On the last follow-up (minimum 6 months), 15 patients were alive without any disease, 4 were alive with disease, and 3 had died.


Submental flap is a satisfactory option for oral cavity reconstruction. However, preoperative selection of clinically neck node-negative patient is extremely important as it has potential risk of occult metastasis.


Head-and-neck cancer; oral reconstruction; submental flap

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