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Double bilobed radial forearm free flap for anterior tongue and floor-of-mouth reconstruction

| Reprints
April 1, 2010
by Alvin B. Ko, MD, Pierre Lavertu, MD, FRCS, FACS, and Rod P. Rezaee, MD


We describe what is, to the best of our knowledge, the first use of a double bilobed radial forearm free flap in reconstructive surgery of the tongue and floor of the mouth following bilateral tumor resection. Our patient was a 78-year-old man who had experienced tumor recurrence in the anterior floor of the mouth after previous resection and radiotherapy. Eleven weeks postoperatively, the patient could extend his tongue to his hard palate and past his mandibular alveolus anteriorly. Within 6 months, he was able to tolerate an oral diet of soft food and exhibited understandable speech quality. Although the use of a single bilobed radial forearm flap is widely used after hemiglossectomy, our double bilobed modification extends this technique to anterior tongue and floor-of-mouth defects. This technique provides adequate bulk while allowing for depth of a ventral sulcus that will minimize tethering of the tongue and reduce oral incompetence. We recommend that this technique be included in the armamentarium of any reconstructive head and neck cancer surgeon.

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