Pharyngocutaneous fistula after total laryngectomy: Systematic review of risk factors

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Background.Pharyngocutaneous fistula (PCF) is the most common surgical complication after total laryngectomy. Controversy still remains regarding the multiple risk factors implicated. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential risk factors for PCF.Methods.The strategy for our literature survey included research in MEDLINE up to December 2013. The risk factors analyzed were age, sex, smoking habit, alcohol use, comorbidity, preoperative hemoglobin level, blood transfusion, preoperative tracheotomy, previous radiotherapy and chemoradiotherapy, primary tumor site, T classification, cartilage invasion, tumor grade, surgical margins, suture material, second layer of suture, reconstruction, tracheoesophageal prosthesis, and neck dissection.Results.The electronic search resulted in 311 studies from which 63 met the inclusion criteria.Conclusion.Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), previous hemoglobin <12.5g/dL, blood transfusion, previous radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy, advanced primary tumors, supraglottic subsite, hypopharyngeal tumor site, positive surgical margins, and the performance of neck dissection were risk factors for PCF. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2014 © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 37: 1691–1697, 2015

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