PMID: 8021129Mar 1, 1994Paper

Soft tissue coverage of mandibular reconstruction plates

Head & Neck
P G Cordeiro, D A Hidalgo


Free tissue transfer was compared to pectoralis major flap coverage of mandibular reconstruction plates in a retrospective review. The study group consisted of 14 patients whose composite defects were reconstructed with metal plates covered with either pectoralis flaps (9) or soft tissue free flaps (5). Four patients in the pectoralis group (44%) had plates that extruded compared to none in the free flap group. The mean operating room time for the free flap group (721 minutes) was longer than the pectoralis group (550 minutes), but the overall hospital stay for the free flap group (20 days) was half that of the pectoralis group (39 days). The pectoralis group required more secondary procedures (88%) than the free flap group (20%). Free flaps have a higher success rate, a shorter hospital stay, and require fewer additional procedures than do pectoralis flaps. This justifies the longer operating time and greater technical complexity of free tissue transfer for reliable coverage of mandibular reconstruction plates.


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