Purpose: This article presents our clinical experience with head and neck reconstruction using a free anterolateral thigh (ALT) flap and describes the morbidity of the donor site. Materials and Methods: From October 2001 to October 2003, 20 free ALT flaps were transferred for reconstructing soft tissue defects of the head and neck. The age and gender of the patients, the site of the primary tumor, tumor stage, previous operative condition, types of associated operation, results of flap transfer, donor site morbidity, and clinical course were analyzed. Results: Of 20 cases, 19 free flaps were successfully performed. The success rate was 95%. The size of the ALT flaps ranged from 6 to 10 cm in width and 9 to 20 cm in length (54 to 200 cm2in area). Sixteen of the 20 donor sites were closed primarily, whereas 4 cases required a split-thickness skin graft to cover the donor site. Complications and morbidity of the donor site were minimal. Conclusion: The ALT flap has some advantages over other free flaps, including a long pedicle with a suitable diameter for anastomoses, the availability of different tissues with large amounts of skin, the ease of closing the donor site, and the ability for 2 teams to simultaneously perform the operation. © 2005 American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
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