The free iliac crest and fibula flaps in vascularized oromandibular reconstruction: Comparison and long-term evaluation

Thomas Shpitzer, Peter C. Neligan, Patrick J. Gullane, Brian J. Boyd, Eyal Gur, Lorne E. Rotstein, Dale H. Brown, Jonathan C. Irish, Jeremy E. Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background. A variety of free flaps have been successfully used for mandible reconstruction. This study compared the short- and long-term results of using the free iliac crest and fibula flaps. Methods. We conducted a retrospective analysis of 117 patients who underwent mandibular reconstruction, 59 patients with iliac crest and 58 with free fibula. Accurate long-term functional assessment was possible in 31 cases in the lilac crest group and in 48 patients with fibular reconstruction. Anterior or combined anterolateral defects formed 72% and 64% in the iliac crest and fibula groups, respectively. The remainder were pure lateral defects. In both series, a skin paddle was included to provide either lining, skin cover, or both in 77% of the cases, whereas in 23% bone only was used. Results. Complications included two perioperative deaths and three flap losses in the iliac crest group and five flap losses in the fibula group. Long-term functional and cosmetic assessment showed no statistically significant differences in oral continence (p > 0.9), speech (p = 0,57), and contour results (p = 0.80) between the two groups. However, oral deglutition was statistically significantly better in the fibula free flap group (p = 0,009). Conclusion. Although the fibula free flap is the flap of choice, the iliac crest is an excellent and reliable complementary flap for mandibular reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-647
Number of pages9
JournalHead and Neck
Volume21
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Free fibula flap
  • Free iliac crest
  • Oromandibular reconstruction

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