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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Oral Health 1/2015

The adequacy of lymph node harvest in concomitant neck block dissection and submental island flap reconstruction for oral squamous cell carcinoma; a case series from a single Egyptian institution

BMC Oral Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Islam A. Elzahaby, Sameh Roshdy, Fayez Shahatto, Osama Hussein
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

IA, OH and SR conceived the study, IA and OH wrote the manuscript, all authors discussed and interpreted the results. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a fairly common tumor of the oral cavity. This tumor may affect any part of the mucosa of the oral cavity especially the tongue, the floor of the mouth and lips. The encountered intra-oral defects after tumor resection are often large and require climbing up the reconstruction ladder to more complex reconstructive options for accepted functional and cosmetic results to be achieved. However, most of the patients are old with medical co-morbidities requiring fast, simple, less morbid reconstructive option such as local flaps. The myocutaneous submental island flap has emerged as a simple and fast reconstructive technique that provides thin, pliable tissue with adequate volume and reliable blood supply. However, one major concern regarding the utility of the submental flap for repair of post-ablative tumor defects is the presumed interference with adequate lymph node neck dissection.


In this study, we present a cohort of thirty-six consecutive patients who were operated for oral SCC. All patients were offered submental island flap reconstruction of their resultant defects together with ipsilateral selective neck block dissection of levels I, II, III and IV; and the nodal yield of each level was tested pathologically.


Nodal harvest was ≥12 in 88 % of the patients. Complications were encountered in two patients (5.5 %).


Our data suggest that adequate cervical lymph nodes dissection, specifically level I and II cervical lymph nodes, can be fulfilled with concomitant submental island flap elevation.
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