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How to do a single-stage perforator based nasolabial flap for reconstruction of early-stage tongue cancer.

ANZ Journal of Surgery 2023 November 21
Tongue cancers are one of the most common subsites of malignancy in the head and neck, of which the majority are squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Reconstruction following ablative surgery is challenging because of the role of the tongue in articulation, deglutition and protection of the airway. Microvascular free flaps are the current gold standard of reconstruction but are not feasible in all patients. Local and regional flaps provide a less challenging, faster alternative and may be more appropriate in comorbid patients with high anaesthetic risk as well as those with previously irradiated neck and poor vasculature. Nasolabial flaps are not commonly used for tongue reconstruction, requiring a two-staged procedure to allow division of the pedicle. We submit a modification of nasolabial flap as an inferiorly based, islanded perforator flap. This allows for single-stage reconstruction of tongue and floor of the mouth defects following resection of early-stage tongue cancers.

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