Anatomic study of the vasculature of the submental artery flap

Magden O., Edizer M., Tayfur V., Atabey A.

PLASTIC AND RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY, vol.114, no.7, pp.1719-1723, 2004 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


The submental artery island flap is a versatile option in head and neck reconstruction. This flap may be used for the coverage of perioral, intraoral, and other facial defects, leaving a relatively acceptable donor-site scar. In this study, the submental region of 13 formalin-fixed cadavers was dissected bilaterally. Comprehensive anatomical information regarding the pedicle of the flap and its relationship with the important adjacent structures is provided. The mean values of the measurements of the facial and submental arteries were as follows: the facial artery was 2.7 min in diameter at the origin, and it crossed the mandibular border 26.6 min from the mandibular angle. The origin of the submental artery was 27.5 min from the origin of the facial artery, 5.0 min from the mandibular border, and 23.8 min from the mandibular angle. The diameter of the submental artery was 1.7 min at the origin. The artery was found mostly to course Superficial to the submandibular gland. In one case, the artery passed through the gland. The total length of the submental artery was 58.9 mm. The artery anastomosed with the contralateral artery in 92 percent of the cadavers. The submental artery was deep to the anterior belly of the digastric muscle in 81 percent of the cases. This study presents detailed anatomical data about the location, dimension, and relationship of the facial artery, the submental artery, and the submental vein that may be useful during dissection of the submental artery island flap.