Sternocleidomastoid flap following parotidectomy
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The sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle has been used in various ways for reconstruction following cancer resections in the head and neck. Its use has been restricted because of the presumed precarious nature of its blood supply and its proximity to disease. Patients with large or recurrent benign parotid tumors were the first in our series to have a SCM muscle flap (either superiorly or inferiorly based) used to improve cosmesis. After demonstrating the utility of these flaps, we extended the indications for their use to include patients with primary or recurrent malignant disease. The flaps provide soft tissue contour, coverage of facial nerves and nerve grafts, act as a healthy bed for skin grafts, and help close salivary fistulas. There were no complications attributed to the flaps. This paper discusses 31 patients with benign and malignant parotid disease in whom the SCM flap was used.
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