Surgical Treatment Information

Please note: Coronavirus means there are some additional risks to both patients and healthcare workers during this time.

This link gives an overview of new arrangements in place to reduce these risks:

Flap Surgery

Flap surgery involves the transfer of a living piece of tissue from one part of the body to another, along with the blood vessels that keep it alive. It is used in head and neck cancer to reconstruction the areas from which cancer cells have been removed. It is complex reconstruction and a technique called free flap is used. This is where a piece of skin, and the blood vessels supplying it, are entirely disconnected from the original blood supply and then reconnected at a new site.

Medial Sural Perforator Free Flap is also known as an “MSAP flap”. Skin is removed from the back of the lower leg and then moved to fill a ‘hole’ which has been left from having a cancer removed. It is therefore one of the ways we replace tissue in the head and neck area that has been removed. This link provides more information:

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Scapula Free Flap Surgery is one way of filling a bony ‘hole’ in either the upper or lower jaw. It is one of the common ways of replacing bone that has been removed or damaged. It uses bone from your shoulder, click on the link for more information:

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Fibula Free Flap Surgery is one way of reconstructing bone defects in either the upper or lower jaw when a cancer has been removed. It uses the fibula bone and further information can be found by clicking below:

Anterolateral Thigh Free Flap Surgery is also known as an “ALT flap”. Skin is removed from the front of the thigh and then moved to fill the ‘hole’ that has been left when a cancer has been removed. It is one of the ways of replacing such tissue in the head and neck area. Click here for further information

Radial Forearm Free Flap is one way of filling a defect in the mouth which is left when a cancer has been removed. Your surgeon will take a piece of tissue including skin, fascia (fatty tissue) and blood vessels from the inside surface of your forearm near the wrist. This leaflet provides more information

Pectoralis Major Pedicled Flap The pectoralis major, also be referred to as a ‘Pec Major’, is a thick, fan-shaped muscle, situated at the upper front of the chest wall. It makes up the bulk of the chest muscles in males and lies under the breast in females. A pectoralis major pedicled flap maintains its own blood supply and is one of the most common ways of reconstructing a defect when a cancer has been removed. Click below for more information:

Neck Dissection is an operation that is done to remove lymph nodes in the neck. This is usually done alongside the main operation to remove a head and neck cancer. Click on the link for more information:

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