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Keywords:

  • Uvulopalatal flap;
  • uvula;
  • soft palate;
  • reconstruction.

Abstract

Objective To determine the indications, complications, and outcomes of the uvulopalatal flap in the reconstruction of defects of the soft palate.

Study Design Retrospective review.

Methods Patient data were obtained from the hospital records of 18 patients who had soft palate defects reconstructed with the uvulopalatal flap over a 5-year period at a tertiary academic medical center.

Results Eleven patients had the uvulopalatal flap as the sole method of reconstruction, whereas this flap was used in combination with a radial forearm free flap, pectoralis flap, and skin graft in 4, 2, and 1 patients, respectively. All flaps were successful in soft palate reconstruction. One flap was successfully revised after additional tumor resection. A partial flap dehiscence occurred in one patient and healed uneventfully. Speech and swallowing function was dependent on initial tumor stage and the scope of tumor resection.

Conclusions The uvulopalatal flap is a simple and effective method of soft palate reconstruction either alone or in combination with other methods of reconstruction for selected oropharyngeal defects.