||Submental flap was introduced by Martins et al1 in 1993 is an axial pattern pedicle flap that can be
utilized as a local flap or used in microvascular reconstruction. The advantages of this flap include
the ability to be modified to achieve wider mobility, excellent matching skin colour, well-hidden
scar and its good predictability.
In addition to the above, its versatility, reliability, usefulness, decreased morbidity/operative time
and reduced cost makes a viable alternative to other local or regional flaps in oral, maxillofacial, face
and neck reconstruction.
However, its use is yet to attain the necessary awareness and popularity among surgeons in our local
setting. Therefore, we present its use in the reconstruction of a post gunshot cheek and lip defect.
A38 year old male cattle herder was referred from a peripheral hospital on account of gunshot injury
inflicted by marauding cattle rustlers a day earlier. Clinical examination revealed avulsion of the
right cheek, lip and right anterior part of the tongue. There were severe comminuted fractures of the
mandible and avulsion of the anterior maxilla and teeth. Following admission mandibular
reconstruction was done with 2.7mm reconstruction plate and iliac bone graft. Second phase of
surgery was done a year later using submental and Karapanzic flaps for right cheek defect, right
commissural defect and right lower lip reconstruction under general anaesthesia with
nasopharyngeal intubation. Subsequent one year follow up has been unremarkable.
Our preliminary experience demonstrates that this flap is a useful arsenal in the post gunshot facial