We describe our experience in tongue reconstruction using the transverse gracilis myocutaneous (TMG) free flap after major demolitive surgery for advanced cancer. This technique was used in 10 patients: seven underwent total glossectomy and three partial glossectomy. In eight patients we performed motor reinnervation attempting to maintain muscular trophism and gain long-term volumetric stability. The follow-up period ranged from 6 to 28 months. The overall flap survival was 100%. Nine out of 10 patients resumed oral intake. Our preliminary experience shows that this flap is a good reconstructive option for total glossectomy patients, whereas it is less suited for reconstruction of hemiglossectomy defects. Functional and objective evaluation of the tongue reconstructed with TMG free flap requires further and standardized evaluation.
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