Maxillary reconstruction using the scapular tip free flap: A radiologic comparison of 3D morphology

Nitin A. Pagedar, Ralph W. Gilbert, Harley Chan, Michael J. Daly, Jonathan C. Irish, Jeffrey H. Siewerdsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background Scapular tip osteomyogenous free flaps have been described for complex palate reconstruction. Minimal osteotomies are needed because of the similar shapes of the scapula and palate. We compared the bony morphology of the palate and scapular tip to determine the suitability of the scapular tip for palate reconstruction. Methods We analyzed facial and chest CT images of 10 patients, comparing the morphology of 3 simulated palate resection specimens (total palate, subtotal palate, and hemipalate) with corresponding simulated scapular tip bone flaps from the same patient. Results Conformance distances between palates and simulated flaps were small, indicating close shape similarity. Median conformance distances were 3.44 mm for hemipalatectomy, 3.56 mm for subtotal palatectomy, and 3.71 mm for total palatectomy. Six outlier observations accrued from 2 patients. Conclusions Based on this analysis, there is close similarity between the shapes of the palate and the scapular tip. This similarity supports use of the scapular tip flap for selected palate defects. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2012

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1377-1382
Number of pages6
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • free flap
  • maxillectomy
  • morphology
  • reconstruction
  • scapula

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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