INTRODUCTION: Starting from the 1980s, with the advent of microsurgery, microvascular flaps are used for the reconstruction of wide and complex bone defects of the maxillomandibular district. Compared with conventional and implant-supported prostheses, the free flaps allow aesthetic-functional rehabilitations more adapt to answer to problems that these wide disablements involve. The anatomic characteristics of the crest flap make it one of the best available flap in the maxillomandibular bone reconstruction. METHODS: The authors introduce a retrospective analysis of their own experience in the reconstruction of wide and complex bone defects of the maxillomandibular district. Specifically, the attention is focused on the use of the iliac crest flap. The surgical technique of flap preparation is discussed. Moreover, a review of results from international studies about the morbidity of the donor site is presented and compared with own experience. RESULT: As reported in the literature, the iliac crest flap donor site may encounter several complications. Among these, chronic pain, loss of regional sensibility or paresthesias, hematoma, seroma, walking troubles, unaesthetic scars, abdominal hernia, and loss of the normal bone profile of the hip. DISCUSSION: At present, the use of the iliac crest free flap in the microvascular reconstruction of the complex deficits of the maxillomandibular district represents a well-established method in the experience of the maxillofacial surgeon. Several information about results obtained in the maxillomandibular rehabilitation are available from the literature; however, little attention has been addressed to complications and morbidity of the donor site. Such aspect will be discussed in this work. Copyright © 2009 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD.
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