Purpose of review: The purpose of this article is to review current microvascular mandibular reconstruction techniques and recent literature on the advances of tissue engineering as they relate to mandibular reconstruction.
Recent findings: Microvascular reconstruction continues to be the standard of care for complicated mandibular reconstruction in major ablative defects of the head and neck. Several recent modifications of current microvascular techniques offer significant improvement in the quality of reconstructions currently being performed. Advances in tissue engineering are currently not widely applicable clinically due to a number of factors; however, the technology offers promising advances in the management of mandibular continuity defects in the future.
Summary: Microvascular reconstruction of the mandible represents the most significant advancement in technique in the current era. Tissue engineering offers a promising future to improve outcomes and decrease patient morbidity. Future investigations regarding this new technology will provide information on the utility and feasibility of tissue engineering in mandibular reconstruction.