The scapular, parascapular, and latissimus dorsi flap as a single osteomyocutaneous flap for repair of complex oral defects



Complex composite defects of the oral cavity are often created due to en bloc resection of malignant tumors. These defects can involve bone, soft tissue, oral mucosa, and external skin, posing a reconstructive challenge to the microvascular surgeon. Though advances have been made in free tissue transfer via piggybacking techniques and double free-flaps, increases in operative time and morbidity remain limiting factors. Likewise, advancements in single composite flaps (e.g., double-skin paddle fibular free-flap) allow for a single donor site, but limit workable tissue. This report describes our experience with the scapular, parascapular, and latissimus dorsi (SPLD) as a combined single unit osteomyocutaneous flap for composite reconstruction of complex oral defects. A case example is subsequently reviewed for clinical correlation. This is an operative techniques article describing the use of the SPLD single multi-tissue flap for repair of complex oral defects. Cadaveric dissection was performed for instructional purposes. Case example was given for clinical correlation. Relevant history, anatomy, procedural details, and possible complications are presented and subsequently correlated to the case example. A SPLD free-flap as a single multi-tissue flap is a viable and beneficial option for reconstruction of complex oral defects. It provides the volume of tissue necessary to fill composite defects and exists as an alternative to multi-flap procedures, which carry a longer operative time and multiple donor site morbidity. Clin. Anat. 25:120–128, 2012. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.