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Submental island flap versus radial forearm free flap for oral tongue reconstruction: a comparison of complications and functional outcomes

  • P Sittitrai (a1), D Reunmakkaew (a1) and C Srivanitchapoom (a2)



This study compared the complications and functional outcomes of patients with oral tongue cancer who had undergone reconstruction using a submental island flap or a radial forearm free flap.


Of the 54 patients, 29 underwent reconstruction with a submental island flap and 25 patients with a radial forearm free flap. The complications and outcomes of speech and swallowing were evaluated.


In the submental island flap group, all the flaps were successfully transferred with no donor site complications. In the radial forearm free flap group, partial skin graft loss and arm function restriction were recorded. Mean operative time and duration of hospital stay were significantly shorter in the submental island flap group. Speech and swallowing function were comparable between the two groups. There was no significant difference in locoregional recurrence between the groups.


The submental island flap is reliable and is suitable for oral tongue reconstruction. It has a lower complication incidence when compared to the radial forearm free flap, while maintaining speech and swallowing function.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Dr Pichit Sittitrai, Department of Otolaryngology, Chiang Mai University Hospital, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand E-mail: Fax: +66 053 935564


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Dr P Sittitrai takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper



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Submental island flap versus radial forearm free flap for oral tongue reconstruction: a comparison of complications and functional outcomes

  • P Sittitrai (a1), D Reunmakkaew (a1) and C Srivanitchapoom (a2)


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