A retrospective study was conducted to assess outcomes of reconstruction of the oral cavity with the platysma myocutaneous flap, in terms of flap survival, complications, and quality of life. Included were 10 patients with squamous cell carcinoma (stage T1 to T4; nodal status N0 to N2) of the oral cavity who were treated between 2002 and 2006. Each patient underwent tumor resection, modified radical neck dissection, and primary reconstruction with a platysma myocutaneous flap. Operating time, length of stay, time to swallow, and complications were assessed, and the University of Washington Quality of Life questionnaire was administered. Mean operating time was <4 hours, mean length of stay was 11 days, and mean time to swallow was 9 days. One patient had distal flap necrosis and one had wound dehiscence. No total flap failures or fistulas occurred. The authors conclude that the platysma myocutaneous flap provides thin, pliable, reliable tissue for use in the oral cavity. The additional operating room time is negligible, the surgical complications minimal, and the overall quality of life very good. This flap should be used more frequently in the reconstruction of oral cavity defects.
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