Background: Loss of the maxilla and midfacial bone buttresses after tumor resections can lead to severe functional and esthetic consequences. The loss of palate function may lead to oro-nasal communication, nasal speech, and oral intake difficulties. Several techniques have been proposed for maxillary defects reconstruction including prosthesis, locoregional flaps, or free flaps. The authors propose the use of anterolateral thigh free flap and iliac crest, or calvaria bone graft association for reconstruction of this kind of defects. Methods: Between November 2003 and June 2007, eight patients underwent maxillectomies, with preservation of the orbital contents and simultaneous reconstruction using this technique. Results: All the flaps were harvested and transplanted successfully. No major complication occurred and only one patient developed a palatal dehiscence with partial necrosis of the skin of the flap. There were no complications at the donor sites. Speech was assessed as normal in five patients, intelligible in two patients, and poor in one patient. Six patients returned to normal diets, while two patients were restricted to soft diets. The esthetic results were evaluated by the patients themselves as good (in five cases) and acceptable (in two cases). In the remaining case, the esthetic result was deemed to be poor, due to ectropion and poor color matching of the skin used for the external coverage. Conclusion: The good results obtained using this technique encourage the choice of the association of anterolateral thigh and bone grafts for reconstructing maxillary complex defects.
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