JPM, Vol. 13, Pages 879: Tongue Reconstruction with Buccinator Myomucosal Island Flaps: Technical Considerations, Oncologic Safety, Functional Outcomes and QoL Assessment—A Retrospective Observational Study

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JPM, Vol. 13, Pages 879: Tongue Reconstruction with Buccinator Myomucosal Island Flaps: Technical Considerations, Oncologic Safety, Functional Outcomes and QoL Assessment—A Retrospective Observational Study

Journal of Personalized Medicine doi: 10.3390/jpm13060879

Authors:
Olindo Massarelli
Luigi Angelo Vaira
Salvatore Crimi
Giovanni Salzano
Linda Latini
Alberto Bianchi
Paolo Gennaro
Giacomo De Riu

The objective of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of buccinator myomucosal island flaps for tongue reconstruction following malignant tumor resections. A retrospective study was performed on 52 patients who underwent tongue reconstructions with buccinator myomucosal island flaps between 2012 and 2020. We reviewed the flap type and size, harvesting time, recipient- and donor-site complications, postoperative oncologic outcomes, functional recovery and QoL assessment. All of the flaps were transposed successfully without any total flap loss. Neither in the primary site nor in the neck were cancer relapses observed. An evaluation of the sensitivity revealed that 96.1% of patients experienced a recovery of touch, two-point and pain sensations. There were significant differences between the flap and the native mucosa in terms of the tactile (p < 0.001), pain (p < 0.001) and two-point (p < 0.001) thresholds. The average swallowing score recorded was 6.1 out of 7, with only minor complaints. The quality of life assessments demonstrated high scores across physical (24.5 out of 28), social (25.8 out of 28), emotional (20.3 out of 24) and functional (25 out of 28) aspects. The present study showed how buccinator myomucosal island flaps represent an effective and functional tongue reconstructive option, requiring a short operative time with a low rate of donor site morbidity, and with evidence of long-term oncologic safety and high quality of life.

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