A treatment algorithm for managing giant mandibular ameloblastoma: 5-year experiences in a Paris university hospital

Eur J Surg Oncol. 2009 Sep;35(9):999-1005. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2009.04.006. Epub 2009 May 6.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Ameloblastoma / surgery*
  • Female
  • Fibula / transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mandibular Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteotomy / methods*
  • Paris
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Flaps* / blood supply