The Feasibility of Buccal Fat Pad Flap in Oral Reconstruction Based on Clinical Experience in a Governmental Hospital, Alexandria, Egypt

Ahmed M A Habib, Ahmed Medra
Cleft Palate-craniofacial Journal 2016, 53 (6): 657-663

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the pedicled buccal fat pad flap for its applicability in the reconstruction of surgically created oral defects. We highlighted the technique of flap harvesting, its different applications, and limitations.

DESIGN: Prospective analysis of patients with intraoral defects repaired by the buccal fat pad flap.

SETTING: Institutional center.

PATIENTS/PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-nine patients with surgical defects of the palate, maxilla, upper gingiva, buccal mucosa, lower gingiva, retromolar region, oral floor, and temporomandibular joint.

INTERVENTIONS: Pedicled buccal fat pad flap for treatment of small to medium-sized intraoral defects.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Patients had repair using a pedicled buccal fat pad flap between 2012 and 2014. Patients' photographs and clinical records were collected. The technique of flap harvesting, its advantages, and its drawbacks are described in this study.

RESULTS: Patients were followed up over a mean period of 13.7 months to check flap viability, competent repair, and donor site function and aesthetics. Complete epithelialization was observed within 4 to 6 weeks postoperatively according to the extent of the defect. All patients showed uneventful healing without complications.

CONCLUSIONS: Buccal fat pad flap proved to be feasible for the reconstruction of surgically induced proximal small to medium-sized defects and can be extended to the palate, mandible, mouth angle, and temporomandibular joint region. Further research using preoperative computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging for evaluation of the size of the buccal fat pad is needed when reconstructing large distal defects.

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