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01.01.2008 | Head and Neck | Ausgabe 1/2008

European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology 1/2008

Head and neck reconstruction with free flaps: a report on 213 cases

European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology > Ausgabe 1/2008
Olivier Dassonville, Gilles Poissonnet, Emmanuel Chamorey, Jacques Vallicioni, François Demard, Joseph Santini, Mayeul Lecoq, Sophie Converset, Pouya Mahdyoun, Alexandre Bozec


The aim of this retrospective study is to review the experience of our institution in performing microvascular head and neck reconstruction between 2000 and 2004. During this period, 213 free flaps, including 146 radial forearm free flaps, 60 fibular flaps and 7 scapular flaps, were performed. Free flap success rate and complications were reported. The pre-treatment factors influencing these results were subsequently analyzed. Functional and aesthetic outcomes were evaluated by the same clinician. There were 14 free flap failures, giving an overall free flap success rate of 93.4%. Salvage surgery for recurrent cancer was the only factor correlated with a higher risk of free flap failure (P = 0.0004). The local complication rate was 20.9%. High level of comorbidity (P = 0.009), salvage surgery for recurrent cancer (P = 0.03) and hypopharyngeal surgery (P = 0.002) were associated with a higher risk of local complications. An unrestricted oral diet and an intelligible speech were recovered by respectively 76 and 88% of the patients. Microvascular free flaps represent an essential and reliable technique for head neck reconstruction and allow satisfactory functional results.

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