Palatal rotation-advancement flap for delayed repair of oroantral fistula: A retrospective evaluation of 63 cases

Yakir Anavi*, Gavriel Gal, Ram Silfen, Shlomo Calderon, Petah Tikva

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. To review our 17-year clinical experience with delayed oroantral fistula repair by palatal rotation-advancement flap, and to report its advantages, disadvantages, and complications. Study design. The records of 63 patients with late oroantral fistula treated by palatal rotation-advancement flap from 1984 to 2002 were reviewed. Eleven had undergone unsuccessful closure with a buccal flap. Data recorded were patient age and sex, cause of fistula, signs and symptoms, interval from appearance of fistula to repair, fistula size, radiographic appearance, method of repair, and immediate and late complications. Results. There were 35 women and 28 men aged 21 to 71 years (mean 50.3 years). Surgery was performed 3 months to 20 years after injury (mean 1.8 years). Twenty-four patients had acute maxillary sinusitis and 39 had chronic sinusitis. The main causes of oroantral fistula were extraction of the second and first molars and pathological lesions within the sinus. Average fistula size was 2.3 cm × 1.6 cm. Fifty-one repairs were preceded by Caldwell-Luc operation. All fistulas were successfully closed with the palatal rotation-advancement flap, with minimal complications on long-term follow-up. Conclusion. The palatal rotation-advancement flap is recommended for the late repair of oroantral fistula owing to its good vascularization, excellent thickness and tissue bulk, and easy accessibility; it also allows for the maintenance of the vestibular-sulcus depth. It is particularly indicated in cases of unsuccessful buccal flap closure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-534
Number of pages8
JournalOral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2003


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