Arch Craniofac Surg.  2016 Jun;17(2):45-50. 10.7181/acfs.2016.17.2.45.

Oral and Oropharyngeal Reconstruction with a Free Flap

  • 1Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Seoul Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Extensive surgical resection of the aerodigestive track can result in a large and complex defect of the oropharynx, which represents a significant reconstructive challenge for the plastic surgery. Development of microsurgical techniques has allowed for free flap reconstruction of oropharyngeal defects, with superior outcomes as well as decreases in postoperative complications. The reconstructive goals for oral and oropharyngeal defects are to restore the anatomy, to maintain continuity of the intraoral surface and oropharynx, to protect vital structures such as carotid arteries, to cover exposed portions of internal organs in preparation for adjuvant radiation, and to preserve complex functions of the oral cavity and oropharynx. Oral and oropharyngeal cancers should be treated with consideration of functional recovery. Multidisciplinary treatment strategies are necessary for maximizing disease control and preserving the natural form and function of the oropharynx.


Oral reconstruction; Oropharyngeal reconstruction; Free flap; Head and neck cancer

MeSH Terms

Carotid Arteries
Free Tissue Flaps*
Head and Neck Neoplasms
Oropharyngeal Neoplasms
Postoperative Complications
Surgery, Plastic
Full Text Links
  • ACFS
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2023 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: