Evolution of surgical techniques for mandibular reconstruction using free fibula flaps: The next generation

Head Neck. 2016 Apr;38 Suppl 1:E2066-73. doi: 10.1002/hed.24380. Epub 2016 Feb 15.


Background: Virtual surgical planning (VSP) has contributed to a number of technical innovations in mandible reconstruction. We report on these innovations and the overall evolution of mandible reconstruction using free fibula flaps at our institution.

Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of all patients who underwent virtually planned free fibula flap reconstruction of the mandible. Comparisons were made between cohorts based on distinct eras related to the virtual planning approach.

Results: Seventy-six patients underwent a total of 78 VSP-assisted mandible reconstructions with free fibula flaps. Significant differences were noted among the groups with regard to mean number of segments, percentage of flaps that had at least 3 segments, percentage of flaps that had double-barrel components, and innovations per flap.

Conclusion: VSP-assisted mandible reconstruction has contributed to more complex surgeries at our institution. The technology ensures functional restoration, permitting an optimized aesthetic reconstruction that has not increased operative times or complications. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 38: E2066-E2073, 2016.

Keywords: free fibula flap; innovation; jaw in a day; mandible reconstruction; virtual surgical planning.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bone Transplantation*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Fibula / transplantation
  • Free Tissue Flaps / transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mandible / surgery
  • Mandibular Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Mandibular Reconstruction*
  • Middle Aged
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted*
  • Young Adult