Aims: To review our experiences with giant mandibular ameloblastoma (GMA) over a 5-year period, and to formulate a treatment algorithm for managing this tumour.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all GMA patients who underwent segmental mandibulectomy and immediate free fibular osteoseptocutaneous flap reconstruction (SM-IFFOFR) by a single reconstructive team from 2002 to 2006. All treatment methods and outcomes were analysed.
Findings: Forty-four ameloblastoma patients were operated upon during this study period. Sixteen cases had GMA, of which 9 patients were included in this series (mean age: 35 years). The defects in the mandible ranged from 7 to 16 cm in length (mean: 12 cm). The average length of the harvested fibula was 11 cm, and the number of osteotomies ranged from 1 to 2. The mean ischemic time was 137 min (range: 90-180 min). Neck recipient vessels were used for flap perfusion in all cases. All but one flaps were viable without any complications, whilst partial skin-island necrosis occurred in 2 patients. Hospital stay was 2 weeks in most of the patients. No tumour recurrence was found during the follow-up period (range: 26-73 months). Dental implants were placed in 2 patients.
Conclusions: Despite several limitations of this study, we suggest that a radical approach with the SM-IFFOFR is an effective treatment for GMA. Further well-designed, larger series with longer follow-up periods are still encouraged.