Optimization of total tongue functional reconstruction with the sushi roll technique and its application in pectoralis major myocutaneous flaps

Published:January 16, 2023DOI:


      A protuberant shape and sufficient volume are the most important parameters for total tongue reconstruction. The conventional pectoralis major myocutaneous (PMMC) flap undergoes collapse due to atrophy of the denervated muscle. In a new technique, this flap was rolled up like sushi to reshape the neotongue. This study explored the feasibility and effect of the ‘sushi roll’ technique for precise total functional reconstruction of the tongue using a PMMC flap. Thirty patients scheduled for total glossectomy and PMMC flap reconstruction were recruited. The sushi roll technique was performed in 15 patients and the conventional repair in 15 patients. Outcomes were compared between the two groups. The flap survived in all 30 patients. The sushi roll group showed superior results to the conventional group in terms of time to oral alimentation (P = 0.012) and decannulation (P = 0.041), as well as swallowing function (P = 0.032), speech intelligibility (P < 0.001), shape (P < 0.001), and quality of life score (P < 0.001) at 12 months. The innovative sushi roll technique uses a folding method that utilizes the length rather than the thickness and width of the flap to maintain the volume and protuberance of the neotongue, which results in acceptable function and improved quality of life.


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