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Nine-year experience with extended use of the commissure-based buccal musculomucosal flap.

  • Landes, Constantin A
  • Kovács, Adorján F
Published Article
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer) - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2003
PMID: 12621172


This study reports on the extended use of the commissure-based buccal musculomucosal (CBMM) flap. Large lip defects and medium-size intraoral defects have the general problem of being too large for primary closure to avoid a major functional and aesthetic impairment. Elaborate free flaps, such as axial flaps, although excellent in large defects, may not provide mucosa-equivalent sensitivity, motility, volume, and texture to replace lost tissue with a similar kind of tissue. A total of 60 flap procedures were performed with bilateral and unilateral flaps up to 7.5 x 4 cm in size. The partial and total upper and lower vermilion, gingivobuccal sulcus, floor of the mouth, lateral tongue margin, oropharynx, and hard and soft palates were reconstructed. Partial necrosis was seen in four flaps; all patients recovered with good oral function in speech and swallowing, good aesthetics, and prosthetic rehabilitation if necessary. The donor site could be closed primarily. In flaps with dorsal advancement, the mucosal excess above and below was closed, creating two small dog-ears. Facial expression and mouth opening returned to normal after less than 2 months. The parotid duct had to be marsupialized in large flap preparations, but this did never provoke stasis or infection. The two-point sensitivity of the flaps was, on average, equal to that of the nonoperated mucosa in intraindividual correlation, and the flaps lost, on average, 15 percent of their original size. In the authors' estimation, the results indicate a reliable and technically easy option for intraoral, medium-size defect reconstruction that yields sensitivity and facilitates the rehabilitation of oral function in speaking and ingestion.

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