Reconstruction of the segmental mandibular defect: Current state of the art

Richard E. Hayden, David P. Mullin, Andrew K. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This article reviews literature pertaining to advances in the reconstruction of segmental mandibular defects in the context of an established standard of care, microvascular transfer of free osteocutaneous flaps. RECENT FINDINGS: Most literature reiterates established reconstructive techniques. Exceptions include the use of computer-assisted modeling to preoperatively design the excision of both the mandible and fibula segments and to produce a template for contouring the neomandible, the design of new flaps, distraction osteogenesis and techniques for dealing with osteonecrosis. SUMMARY: The microvascular transfer of free osteocutaneous flaps remains the standard of care, with the fibula flap the clear favorite. Review of the evolution of this flap for segmental mandibular reconstruction provides the bulk of the literature. Improvement on this standard of practice continues to be elusive, in large part because of the effects of associated radiation. Tissue engineering holds promise but no current practical application is available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-236
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012


  • computer-generated modeling
  • free flaps
  • mandible reconstruction
  • osteonecrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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