Reconstruction of large carcinologic tongue defect is mandatory to recover adequate speech and swallowing. Free flaps provide thin and pliable tissues needed to restore the shape and the volume of the tongue but their functional outcomes, especially in case of total mobile tongue reconstruction, are still limited. The authors describe a modification of flap design called the ‘cathedral triptych’ used with the antero-lateral thigh flap. This modified design recreates a near normal neotongue shape with more projected tip and vertical bulk that can contact the palate and the upper lip. Ten patients underwent total mobile tongue reconstruction with a sensitive antero-lateral thigh flap and a ‘cathedral triptych’ design. This modification of flap shaping and folding optimises postoperative oral function.
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Published online: December 06, 2011
Accepted: November 7, 2011
Received: July 29, 2011
© 2011 British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.