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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 123-124

Hairy intraoral flaps: An uncommon complication of surgical therapy in oral cancer

1 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, S.R. Dental College, Faridabad, Haryana, India
2 P.D.M. Dental College, Bahadurgarh, Haryana, India

Date of Web Publication12-Aug-2014

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Gaurav Sharma
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, S.R. Dental College, Faridabad, Haryana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1658-6816.138500

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How to cite this article:
Sharma G, Nagpal A. Hairy intraoral flaps: An uncommon complication of surgical therapy in oral cancer. Saudi J Oral Sci 2014;1:123-4

How to cite this URL:
Sharma G, Nagpal A. Hairy intraoral flaps: An uncommon complication of surgical therapy in oral cancer. Saudi J Oral Sci [serial online] 2014 [cited 2023 Mar 21];1:123-4. Available from: https://www.saudijos.org/text.asp?2014/1/2/123/138500


A 61-year-old male came to our outpatient department complaining of discomfort in his mouth which has been present for six months. History revealed that the patient had a history of diagnosed and treated cancer of the buccal mucosa. He had been treated with radiation therapy and local resection was done along with surgical reconstruction with radial forearm flaps. Intraoral examination showed various hair fibers growing from the surface of the left buccal mucosal into the oral cavity and extending into the palate [Figure 1]. Patient was aware of these hairs and felt uncomfortable about them. Patient was advised to have laser excision of these hairs but he refused despite adequate explanations of the procedure. His refusal was related to his previous surgical experiences.
Figure 1: Depicts the presence of multiple hairs in oral cavity

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Hairy intraoral flaps are one of rarest adverse effects of surgical reconstruction after treatment of oral malignancies. This may be due to the presence of hair follicles in the donor sites used as a flap. The presence of hairs in the oral cavity is an uncommon phenomenon despite the frequent use of flaps for reconstruction. An intraoral hairy flap may result in constant discomfort affecting the quality of life of these patients. To the best of our knowledge, we could find only few cases in English literature for hairy intraoral flaps and this report is probably the first case in the Indian population. [1],[2],[3] The presence of hair in intraoral flaps is extremely rare. This emphasizes the preventive use of lasers to epilate hairs from the donor site to avoid this rare but distinctly awkward condition. An inexpensive alternative to lasers is scalpel trimming of these hairs that can cause a temporary reprieve to these patients.

The purpose of writing this paper is to make general practitioners aware of an unlikely delayed complication of surgical reconstruction of oral cancer as some patients who are in a debilitated state may not prefer to go directly to the maxillofacial surgeon. Intraoral hair can cause tremendous amount of discomfort to the patient. The presence of intraoral hair may occasionally result in complications like trichilemmal cyst. Fortunately, intraoral hair are rare and can be managed using lasers without any adverse effects in a dental setting. Hairy intraoral flaps should be distinguished from hair in mouth that is generally solitary, thin and slender, whereas in intraoral hairy flaps, there are numerous coarse hair.

  References Top

1.Endo T, Nakayama Y, Kikuchi M. Oral-cavity hair growth after free-flap transfer: Case report. J Reconstr Microsurg 2001;17:37-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Lumley C. Intraoral hair removal on skin graft using Nd: YAG laser. Br Dent J 2007;203:141-2.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Shim TN, Abdullah A, Lanigan S, Avery C. Hairy intraoral flap - An unusual indication for laser epilation: A series of 5 cases and review of the literature. Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2011;49:e50-2.  Back to cited text no. 3


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