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The Facial Artery Perforator Flap as a New Option for Reconstruction of Intraoral Defects

Surgical Tips and Clinical Series

Horta, Ricardo MD, PhD; Barreiro, Diogo MD; Nascimento, Ricardo MD; Silva, Alvaro MD

doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000005347
Clinical Study: PDF Only

Background: The authors have recently 1st described the use of the facial artery perforator flap (FAP) for intraoral reconstruction. In this study, they discuss technical notes and surgical tips associated with the procedure and the application of this flap in 4 patients with intraoral defects resulting from cancer or osteoradionecrosis.

Methods: A retrospective study of 4 consecutive patients was performed on all patients who underwent reconstruction of an intraoral defect with a FAP flap, over a 12-month period from March 2017 to March 2018.

The flap was designed according to the size of the defect centered on the perforator and was tunneled intraorally by means of a 90° rotation or advanced medially. The most constantly encountered perforator 1.5 cm lateral to the oral commissure was used in 3 cases; a cranial perforator was selected in 1 patient.

Results: Four FAP flaps were used in 4 patients with intraoral defects. Follow-up was 6 to 12 months. Median defect size was 9.15 cm2 (range, 3.4–21.5 cm2). All reconstructions were successful, without major flap loss or infections. One patient with severe osteoradionecrosis and fungal infection developed minor flap loss and dehiscence, which was treated conservatively. There were no signs of local recurrence and functional outcomes were satisfactory.

Conclusions: The FAP flap is an effective and versatile solution for reconstruction of intraoral defects until 5 cm × 4 cm (20 cm2) without significant donor-site morbidity. It may be considered a new reconstructive option for intraoral defects, which warrants further study in a larger series or patients.

Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Maxillo-Facial Surgery, and Burn Unity, Centro Hospitalar de São João, Porto Medical School, Alameda Professor Hernâni Monteiro, Porto, Portugal.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Ricardo Horta, MD, PhD, Avenida Menéres, n° 234, Bloco 2, 4° Frente Esquerdo, 4450-189 Matosinhos Sul-Porto, Portugal; E-mail:

Received 29 June, 2018

Accepted 22 December, 2018

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2019 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD.