[Reconstruction of oral muco-defects with buccal fat pad flap]

Xiufa Tang, Dengqi He, Chengge Hua
Chinese Journal of Reparative and Reconstructive Surgery 2006, 20 (9): 893-5

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the clinical outcome of the buccal fat pad flap in reconstruction of defects of the oral mucosa.

METHODS: From May 1998 to July 2004, 42 patients with oral muco-defects were treated with buccal fat pad flap. Of them, there were 26 males and 16 females, aging 25-76 years. The defect was caused by buccal squamous carcinoma in 7 cases, by buccal leukoplakia in 5 cases, by squamous carcinoma of soft palate in 7 cases, by adenoid cystic carcinoma of palate in 8 cases, by carcinoma of maxillary sinus in 6 cases, by maxillo-alveolar angioma in 5 cases and by keratocyst of maxilla in 4 cases. The locations were buccal mucosa, maxillary sinus and soft palate. The size of defect ranged from 3.0 cm x 3.0 cm to 6.5 cm x 4.0 cm.

RESULTS: Forty-one cases achieved healing by first intention, except one case because of large defect. Edema faded and epithelization occurred after 4 weeks of operation. Complete epithelization was observed after 6 weeks of operation. Thirty-five cases were followed up 3 months to 5 years. There were no obvious differences in layers, color, elasticity, and texture between repaired region and adjacent mucosa.

CONCLUSION: The buccal fat pad flap is useful in reconstructing the muco-defects (less than 6.5 cm in diameter) of the posterior maxilla and buccal region without considerable complication. The multiplex blood supply, facility in accessing and minimal donor site morbidity make it a reliable soft tissue graft. The main shortcoming is its limited size.

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