Free and locoregional flap associations in the reconstruction of extensive head and neck defects

B. Bianchi, A. Ferri, S. Ferrari, C. Copelli, T. Poli, E. Sesenna

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Head and neck surgical defects after oncological resection of advanced carcinoma involving the oral cavity are often composite and involve bone, mucosa, soft tissues and skin. For the most extensive defects, the simultaneous association of two free flaps is the best choice to improve the function of the preserved structures. This procedure is difficult and involves prolonged surgery, therefore it is only possible in selected patients. In some composite head and neck defects the association of free and locoregional flaps seems to be indicated. This study, discusses the use of free and locoregional flap association, focusing on its aesthetic advantages and functional results. From January 1995 to December 2006, 30 patients received simultaneous locoregional and free flap transfer for closure of post-ablative oral cavity defects. Microvascular tissue transfer included the radial forearm, anterolateral thigh, rectus abdominis, and fibula and iliac crest free flaps. Locoregional flaps included the cervicofacial, cervicopectoral, deltopectoral, pectoralis major, latissimus dorsi and posterior scalp flaps. Based on the good functional and aesthetic outcome and low rate of complications, the association of free and locoregional flaps represents a good reconstructive option for patients with extensive post-oncological composite head and neck defects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-729
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


  • free and pedicled flaps association
  • free flaps
  • head and neck reconstruction
  • pedicled flaps
  • reconstructive surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Surgery
  • Dentistry(all)


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