Article: article from journal or magazin.
Evaluation of 250 free-flap reconstructions after resection of tumours of the head and neck
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery
Journal Article --- Old month value: Oct
BACKGROUND: Microvascular free-tissue transfer is now the primary method of reconstruction in many centres. The aim of this study was to evaluate the applications, complications and limitations of free-flap reconstruction in a series of patients with tumours of the head and neck. METHODS: This study reviewed prospectively accessioned computerized records in a dedicated head and neck database. Patients treated between 1987 and 1995 with a minimum of a 1-year follow-up were reviewed. There were 242 patients with a mean age of 58 years (172 men and 70 women). The most common tumour sites were oral cavity (42%), oropharynx (32%) and hypopharynx (11%). Mucosal squamous carcinoma accounted for 87% of primary cancers. RESULTS: Among the 250 free flaps, the radial forearm flap (205) and free jejunum (25) predominated. There were 21 episodes of vascular occlusion (8%), failure of 10 flaps (4%) and two patients died peri-operatively (0.8%). A second free flap was used in five of 10 cases of flap failure. The fistula rate was 4.4% among 203 patients at risk for this complication, which comprised four of 178 forearm flaps and five of 25 free jejunal grafts. Four of 16 jaw reconstructions failed. CONCLUSIONS: A 96% success rate was achieved using free-tissue transfer for head and neck reconstruction. The overall complication rate was low but jaw reconstruction and free jejunal grafts posed the greatest problems because of failure of radial bone and fistulas, respectively. The radial forearm septocutaneous flap was very reliable and remains our mainstay for oral reconstruction.
Adult Aged Aged, 80 and over Carcinoma, Basal Cell/surgery Carcinoma, Squamous Cell/surgery Female Head and Neck Neoplasms/*surgery Humans Hypopharynx Male Middle Aged Mouth Neoplasms/surgery Oropharynx Pharyngeal Neoplasms/surgery Postoperative Complications/epidemiology Prospective Studies *Reconstructive Surgical Procedures *Surgical Flaps Treatment Failure
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