Reconstruction of mandibular defects using the scapular tip free flap

Bernardo Bianchi, Andrea Ferri, Silvano Ferrari, Chiara Copelli, Giuseppe Perlangeli, Massimiliano Leporati, Teore Ferri, Enrico Sesenna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Purpose of the article is to present the use of the scapular tip free flap (STFF) for the reconstruction of oromandibular defects. Patients: Eleven patients who underwent oromandibular reconstruction with STFF were retrospectively evaluated with regards to form and function assessing mouth opening, dietary intake, and cosmetic outcome. Donor site morbidity was evaluated using the Constant-Murley test for the shoulder unit. Results: Follow-up ranged from 6 to 35 months (mean 20.6 months). Good or excellent results in mouth opening and cosmesis were achieved in eight patients, speech was assessed as intelligible or normal in all but one patient and mean ambulation time after surgery was 2.5 days. Results of Constant score ranged from 45 to 70 (mean 60.6), and the main limitation encountered was elevation of the arm above the head, which was seen in all but one patient confirming the low impact of the technique on the shoulder system. Conclusion: Low morbidity, early ambulation time, possibility of simultaneous harvesting with the tumor resection, large musculocutaneous paddles in the chimeric version of the flap are advantages of the STFF and makes it a good choice in elderly patients, when other bone containing free flaps are not indicated because of the related morbidity, when other flaps are not available or when wide composite defects are approached.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-106
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Medicine(all)


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