Functional reconstruction of the anterior mandibular defect in combination with a significant glossectomy is a challenging problem for reconstructive micro-surgeons. In this retrospective study, clinical results were compared between mandibular reconstruction plate (MRP) procedures and double flap transfers. The subjects were 23 patients who underwent immediate reconstruction, after an anterior segmental mandibulectomy in combination with a significant glossectomy, from 1993 to 2009. The patients were divided into two groups based on the reconstructive methods used: MRP and soft tissue free flap transfer (MRP group: 12 patients) or double free flap transfer (double flap group: 11 patients). Operative stress, postoperative complications and oral intake ability were compared between the groups. The rate of recipient-site complication in the double flap group tended to be lower than that in the MRP group. The most frequent complications in the MRP group included infection and orocutaneous fistula. Operative stresses (operation time and blood loss) were significantly less in the MRP group than in the double flap group. Overall, 19 patients (82.6%) were able to tolerate an oral diet without the need for tube feeding. This study demonstrates that laryngeal preservation is possible in more than 80% of patients even after such an extensive ablation. Double flap transfer provides a more stable wound closure than MRP and should be the preferred reconstructive procedure if the patients can tolerate the associated operative stresses. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Microsurgery, 2012.