Use of the submental vessels for free gracilis muscle transfer for smile reanimation

Neerav Goyal, Nathan Jowett, Sunshine Dwojak, Mary Beth Cunane, David Zander, Tessa A. Hadlock, Kevin S. Emerick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Free muscle transfer is an important in dynamic facial reanimation; however, suitable donor vessels in this population can be inadequate. In this case series, the submental vessels were used as donors to free gracilis muscle in vessel-depleted patients. Methods: Five patients underwent free gracilis muscle transfer for smile reanimation, 2 with a prior failed free gracilis transfer, 2 with vascular anomalies, and 1 with previous distal ligation of the facial vessels. The submental artery was used as a donor in all cases, and the submental vein was used in 3 cases. Results: There were no complications or flap failure. Postoperative arterial and venous blood flow was confirmed in all patients using Doppler color flow imaging above and below the anastomoses. Conclusion: The submental vessels are suitable for microvascular anastomosis for free flaps having short pedicles, such as the free gracilis muscle flap, in the vessel-depleted hemiface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E2499-E2503
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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