Reconstruction of perioral defects following resection for oral squamous cell carcinoma

James J. Closmann, M. Anthony Pogrel, Brian L. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The aim of this study was to review and describe techniques for the reconstruction of large, complex perioral defects after resection of oral squamous cell carcinoma with emphasis on cosmetic and functional outcome. Patients and Methods: A review of techniques and selected case presentations using different flap designs for the reconstruction of large perioral defects following resection of squamous cell carcinoma was performed. The Bernard and Karapandzic flaps were used for large lower lip defects. A Zisser flap technique was used to reconstruct a large commissure defect. Results: All reconstructed patients had acceptable functional results and healed without complication. The large lower lip defects were easily closed with the Bernard and Karapandzic flaps. The commissure defect was reconstructed using the Zisser technique. While cosmesis was acceptable in all cases, the commissure was the most difficult region to reconstruct with a favorable appearance. There were no flap failures. The Karapandzic flap led to greater rounding of the commissure area and the composite resection resulted in a lack of lower lip support that was improved with prosthesis. Function was noted to be excellent in the Bernard and Karapandzic flaps, with the patients able to purse lips and blow up balloon-type devices. Conclusion: The Bernard, Karapandzic, and Zisser flaps provide a predictable method to reconstruct large perioral defects following resection for oral cancer. Subsequent fabrication of a prosthesis can aid in lip support for the resected area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-374
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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