Longus Capitis Reconstruction of the Soft Palate

Jennifer H. Gross, Joseph Zenga, Jeffrey D. Sharon, Ryan S. Jackson, Patrik Pipkorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Soft palate (SP) reconstruction remains a challenge for the head and neck reconstructive surgeon. One favorable local flap option is the longus capitis muscle (LCM), a deep neck flexor with redundant muscle function, appropriate bulk, and a relatively straightforward surgical harvest. A retrospective review of 3 patients with T2 to T4 tonsil squamous cell carcinoma requiring SP resection and LCM reconstruction at a single institution was performed. Three patients underwent primary transoral resection, all resulting in at least 50% full-thickness SP defects. Reconstruction comprised a superiorly based LCM local flap. Patients underwent adjuvant (chemo)radiation therapy as indicated. Within 3 to 8 months, each patient was tolerating a full oral diet with no dysphagia, nasal regurgitation, or velopharyngeal insufficiency. For select patients with SP defects, a superiorly based LCM flap may provide a functionally acceptable reconstruction with minimal donor site morbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-538
Number of pages3
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • local flap
  • longus capitis
  • oropharynx cancer
  • soft palate reconstruction
  • transoral surgery


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