Patient Education: Submental Island Flap

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Patient Education: Submental Island Flap for Head and Neck Reconstruction

The submental island flap is a surgical technique used in head and neck reconstruction to repair defects resulting from trauma, cancer surgery, or other conditions. Here's what you need to know:

What is a submental island flap?

  • The submental island flap is a type of tissue flap harvested from the neck area.
  • It is based on the submental artery, which provides a reliable blood supply to the flap.

Why is it used?

  • The submental island flap is often used in head and neck reconstruction because it can be easily shaped to fit the defect, and it has a good blood supply.
  • It is commonly used to reconstruct defects in the oral cavity, throat, and jaw.

How is it done?

  • During the surgery, an incision is made in the neck, and the flap of tissue is raised.
  • The flap is then rotated into the defect area and stitched into place.
  • The donor site in the neck is closed with sutures.

Recovery and care after surgery:

  • After surgery, you may need to stay in the hospital for a few days for monitoring.
  • You will be given pain medication to manage any discomfort.
  • It's important to follow your surgeon's instructions for wound care and activity restrictions to ensure proper healing.

Potential risks and complications:

  • Like any surgery, there are risks associated with the submental island flap procedure, including infection, bleeding, and complications related to anesthesia.
  • Your surgeon will discuss these risks with you before the surgery.

Follow-up care:

  • You will need to follow up with your surgeon for post-operative care and to monitor your healing progress.
  • Your surgeon will advise you on when you can resume normal activities and any additional treatments or therapies you may need.

Conclusion:The submental island flap is a valuable technique in head and neck reconstruction, offering good outcomes and minimal donor site morbidity. If you have any questions or concerns about the procedure, be sure to discuss them with your surgeon.