Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate morbidity, functional, and aesthetic outcomes in midface zygomatic-maxillary buttress reconstruction using the osteocutaneous radial forearm free flap (OCRFFF).
Methods: A retrospective review of 24 consecutive patients that underwent midface reconstruction using the OCRFFF was performed. All patients had variable extension of maxillectomy defects that requires restoration of the zygomatic-maxillary buttress. After harvest, the OCRFFF was fixed transversely with miniplates connecting the remaining zygoma to the anterior maxilla. The orbital support was given by titanium mesh when needed that was fixed to the radial forearm bone anteriorly and placed on the remaining orbital floor posteriorly. The skin paddle was used for intraoral lining, external skin coverage, or both. The main outcome measures were flap success, donor-site morbidity, orbital, and oral complications. Facial contour, speech understandability, swallowing, oronasal separation, and socialization were also analyzed.
Results: There were 6 women and 18 men, with an average age of 66 years old (range, 34-87). The resulting defects after maxillectomy were (according to the Cordeiro classification; Disa et al, Ann Plast Surg 2001;47:612-619; Santamaria and Cordeiro, J Surg Oncol 2006;94:522-531): type I (8.3%), type II (33.3%), type III (45.8%), and type IV (12.5%). There were no flap losses. Donor-site complications included partial loss of the split thickness skin graft (25%) and 1 radial bone fracture. The most significant recipient-site complications were severe ectropion (24%), dystopia (8%), and oronasal fistula (12%). All the complications occurred in patients with defects that required orbital floor reconstruction and/or cheek skin coverage. The average follow-up was 11.5 months, and over 80% of the patients had adequate swallowing, speech, and reincorporation to normal daily activities.
Conclusions: The OCRFFF is an excellent alternative for midface reconstruction of the zygomatic-maxillary buttress. Complications were more common in patients who underwent resection of the orbital rim and floor (type III and IV defects) or external cheek skin.
Copyright (c) 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 2008.