Treatment of Eccrine Carcinoma of the Chin via Submental Island Flap

Effie Pappas-Politis, MD; David C. Driscoll; Yvonne N. Pierpont, MD; Paul R. Albear, MD; William L. Carter, MD; Lisa J. Gould, MD, PhD


ePlasty. 2010;10:223-230. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: The submental artery island flap is a reliable reconstructive option for lower face defects. Advantages of this flap include suppleness of tissue, excellent color and texture match to facial skin, a wide arc of rotation, prominent blood supply, and a well-hidden donor site scar.
Methods: This article describes a 61-year-old man with eccrine carcinoma of the chin necessitating extensive excision. A submental artery island flap was used for the reconstruction of the extended chin subunit.
Results: The operation resulted in excellent aesthetic outcome and maintenance of oral competence.
Conclusion: The submental artery island flap utilizes loose tissue of the submental area to effectively and reliably reconstruct the soft tissue subunits of the chin and is a superb option for sizable defects. The flap is sufficiently well vascularized to tolerate postoperative radiation therapy without significant fibrosis or retraction.


The chin is an aesthetically and functionally important anatomic subunit of the face, bordered by the lower lip superiorly and the mandible/submandibular line inferiorly. The soft tissue formation of the chin includes the vermilion component of the lip, multiple muscle layers, and the gonion with firm muscular and boney attachments.[1–4] Soft tissue reconstruction in this area involves the challenge of maintaining normal function and aesthetics of the lower lip, mentum, and neck. In addition, the relative paucity of regional tissues available makes reconstruction of this area difficult. In order to reconstruct the entire chin subunit, the submental island flap utilizes the loose soft tissue of the submental area, while maintaining the aesthetic subunits of the chin, thus preventing lower lip retraction and allowing reconstruction and maintenance of the submental aesthetic contour.[1–6] In this report, we present the use of the submental artery flap for reconstruction of an extended chin subunit.