Current strategies in reconstruction of maxillectomy defects

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2011 Aug;137(8):806-12. doi: 10.1001/archoto.2011.132.


Objective: To outline a contemporary review of defect classification and reconstructive options.

Design: Review article.

Setting: Tertiary care referral centers.

Results: Although prosthetic rehabilitation remains the standard of care in many institutions, the discomfort of wearing, removing, and cleaning a prosthesis; the inability to retain a prosthesis in large defects; and the frequent need for readjustments often limit the value of this cost-effective and successful method of restoring speech and mastication. However, flap reconstruction offers an option for many, although there is no agreement as to which techniques should be used for optimal reconstruction. Flap reconstruction also involves a longer recovery time with increased risk of surgical complications, has higher costs associated with the procedure, and requires access to a highly experienced surgeon.

Conclusion: The surgeon and reconstructive team must make individualized decisions based on the extent of the maxillectomy defect (eg, the resection of the infraorbital rim, the extent of palate excision, skin compromise) and the need for radiation therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Maxilla / surgery*
  • Prosthesis Implantation
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Surgical Flaps