Submandibular gland flap in reconstruction of head and neck cancer defects
Keywords:Submandibular gland, Reconstruction, Head and neck defects, Squamous cell carcinoma, Submandibular gland flap
Management of head and neck cancer defects has been challenging owing to the complexity of the created defects. Various local and regional flaps to free flaps have been described in the reconstruction of cancer defects, each of them having it’s own merits and limitations, therefore none of them appears as an ideal one. A Submandibular gland flap (SMGF) technique has emerged as a versatile flap having advantages of a regional and a free flap. In this study, eleven patients (four tongue, six buccal mucosa defects and one retromolar trigone defect) underwent reconstruction of oral cavity cancer defects with SMGF. The outcomes of the SMGF were evaluated in terms of the ease of harvest, functional outcome, and postoperative complications. The mean defect size and the flap dimensions were 4.4×3.9 cm and 3.6×3.3 cm respectively. One patient suffered wound infection resulting in partial flap necrosis with wound dehiscence. In the follow-up period one patient developed contra nodal recurrence and another patient developed a second primary on the contralateral base of the tongue. This study showed that SMGF is an excellent flap for the reconstruction of oral cavity cancer defects because of its reliability, versatility and its relative ease of application.
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