Comprehensive Review of the Submental Flap in Head and Neck and Facial Reconstruction: What Plastic Surgeons Need to Know

Alireza Hamidian Jahromi, Logan J. McClure, Sydney R. Horen, Petros Konofaos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Since its first introduction by Martin and colleagues (1993) and with further revisions by Sterne et al (1996), the submental artery flap (SMAF) has proven to be an effective, reliable, safe, and valuable option in head, neck, and facial reconstructive surgeries. The SMAF utilizes a long pedicle based on the submental artery, a branch of the facial artery, which provides good reach to the lower two-thirds of the face with excellent cosmetic outcomes. It also maintains a good skin color match for facial and cervical defects with a mostly hidden donor site scar (in the majority of cases the donor site can be primarily closed after raising the flap). Although the use of the SMAF is associated with high patient and surgeon satisfaction along with low rates of complications, disadvantages including flap thickness and the hair-bearing nature of the submental skin, which may be problematic for coverage of orofacial defects, especially in male patients. Although it has been almost 30 years since its introduction, and the SMAF has been successfully used in over 500 reported cases of pediatric and adult patients, a comprehensive review of the different aspects of the SMAF is lacking in the medical literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2406-2410
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Craniofacial Surgery
Volume32
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Facial reconstruction
  • head and neck reconstruction
  • implications
  • pedicle flap
  • reconstruction
  • review
  • submental flap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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