A Combined Transoral and Contralateral Submandibular Approach in the Surgical Management of Osteoradionecrosis of the Mandible With Free Flap Reconstruction

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2022 Sep;80(9):1544-1549. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2022.05.003. Epub 2022 May 16.


We describe a method for performing mandibular resection and vascularized tissue transfer via an intraoral and contralateral submandibular approach to minimize the risk of wound complications in a radiated field. Surgery on radiated tissue associated with osteoradionecrosis of the mandible can present with oral cutaneous fistulas, dense fibrotic skin, and altered tissue planes to make dissection through this tissue tedious and can place the marginal mandibular nerve at increased risk of injury. The use of custom plates allows surgeons to minimize incisions and depend less on anatomic/visual cues during surgery to obtain an accurate result. Our experience in 8 patients has shown a predictable method for resection and reconstruction of the mandible, while minimizing the potential complications associated with previously radiated and operated patients.

MeSH terms

  • Free Tissue Flaps* / surgery
  • Head / surgery
  • Humans
  • Mandible / surgery
  • Osteoradionecrosis* / etiology
  • Osteoradionecrosis* / surgery
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures* / adverse effects