Publication Type:

Journal Article


Annals of Plastic Surgery, Volume 66, Number 3, p.261-266 (2011)



The purpose of this study was to report the effectiveness of the lateral arm free flap (LAFF) in the reconstruction of oral tongue defects, the subsite in which it may have advantage over the other donor sites. This is a retrospective analysis of 48 consecutive cases of LAFF used for the reconstruction of partial glossectomy defects for squamous cell carcinoma of the oral tongue. Primary defect and donor-site morbidity and the functional and aesthetic outcomes were assessed in 37 evaluable patients, with a minimum of 6 months follow-up. Patient-reported Visual Analog Scale score from 0 (minimum satisfaction) to 10 (maximum satisfaction) was used to evaluate the aesthetic outcome. The follow-up was for 6 to 52 months (mean, 24 months). The flap was successful in 45 (93.8%) patients. The commonest observed donor-site morbidity was a broad scar, but it did not cause much patient dissatisfaction because it could be covered with appropriate dressing. Speech was normal or near-normal in all patients. Poor functional outcome was associated with adjuvant postoperative radiotherapy. The visual analog scale score for the aesthetic satisfaction (mean [standard deviation]) was 6.58 (1.82) for primary site and 7.13 (1.99) for the donor site. LAFF is an excellent option for the reconstruction of partial glossectomy defects of oral tongue without significant involvement of the floor of mouth and base of tongue. Copyright © 2011 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


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Cite this Research Publication

Ka Thankappan, Kuriakose, M. Aa, Chatni, S. Sa, Sharan, Ra, Trivedi, N. Pa, Vijayaraghavan, Sb, Sharma, Mb, and Iyer, Sab, “Lateral arm free flap for oral tongue reconstruction: An analysis of surgical details, morbidity, and functional and aesthetic outcome”, Annals of Plastic Surgery, vol. 66, pp. 261-266, 2011.