Supraclavicular artery island flap in the reconstruction of oral cavity cancer defects


  • Hemant S. Lekawale Department of Surgery, Shrimati Kashibai Navale Medical College and General Hospital, Narhe, Pune, Maharashtra, India
  • Rachana V. Gaidole Consultant Laparoscopic and General Surgeon, Pune, Maharashtra, India



Supraclavicular artery island flap, Reconstruction, Oral cavity cancer


Background: Microvascular free flaps are the standard of care in the reconstruction of head and neck resection defects, however they need a significant surgical expertise and increase the operative time. Supraclavicular artery island flap (SCAIF) is a versatile fasciocutaneous flap that offers the advantage of both, a regional flap (easy to harvest) and a free flap (thin and pliable) in the head and neck reconstruction.

Methods: In this study we analysed the utility of this flap for the oral cavity cancer defect reconstruction done in 12 consecutive cases.

Results: There were 8 males and 4 females with a mean age of 54.75 years. The oral cavity subsites were as follows: buccal 3 (25%); tongue 3 (25%); lower alveolus 2 (16.66%); floor of mouth 1 (8.33%); gingivobuccal sulcus 2 (16.66%); retromolar trigone 01(8.33%).The excisional defect size ranged from 4×2 cm to 6×3 cm with a mean size of 5×3 cm. The mean harvest time was 45 minutes (range 35 min - 65 min). We had complete flap loss in 2 (16.66%) patients and partial flap loss in 1 (8.33%) patient. Donor site wound gape was noted in 2 (16.66%) patients. The hospital stay ranged from 7 days to 10 days in non-complicated cases. The mean follow up period was of 8.58 months.

Conclusions: SCAIF is versatile, easy to harvest, safe and reliable in selective cases of oral cavity cancers and a potential alternative regional flap in head and neck reconstruction.


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