Microsurgery | 2019

The super thin external pudendal artery (STEPA) free flap for oropharyngeal reconstruction – A case report



The radial forearm flap is one of the most used micro‐anastomotic flaps in cervicofacial reconstruction in a carcinological context. This flap is an ideal in terms of reliability and fineness; it has, however, some disadvantages in terms of the functional and aesthetic complications of its donor site. In alternative to a radial forearm free flap, we report the use of the free super thin external pudendal artery flap (STEPA flap) for an oropharyngeal reconstruction. The aim was to decrease the donor site morbidity. A 71‐years‐old man with a T2N0M0 oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma has undergone surgical treatment. A left STEPA free flap was performed to reconstruct a defect about 8\u2009×\u20096 cm2. This flap was designed as a half‐scrotal free flap sized 9\u2009×\u20097 cm2 and was inset after tunneling of the pedicle at the floor of the mouth. A surgical revision was needed on the 15th day postoperative for disunion. There was no skin flap failure. After 12\u2009month of follow‐up, no complication was observed at the donor site and no erectile dysfunction was recorded. Its characteristics in terms of fineness, flexibility, ease of conformation, and pedicle length are similar to those of the radial forearm flap with less aesthetic and functional sequelae of the donor site. The STEPA flap may be a promising free flap in oropharyngeal or oral cavity reconstruction.

Volume 39
Pages 758 - 762
DOI 10.1002/micr.30512
Language English
Journal Microsurgery

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