Management of Pharyngocutaneous Fistula With Negative-Pressure Wound Therapy

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Pharyngocutaneous fistula is a common complication of laryngopharyngeal surgery and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Beyond the classical management, negative-pressure wound therapy (NPWT) can be an alternative and effective treatment.

Clinical Report:

Two patients with pT3N0M0 squamous cell carcinoma of pyriform sinus were subjected to total laryngectomy and pharyngoesophageal reconstruction of a circular (patient 1) and an anterior wall defect (patient 2) with radial forearm free flap and pectoralis major muscle flap, respectively. Both developed a pharyngocutaneous fistula and NPWT was used.

Clinical Report:

A significant decrease of the fistula aperture and exudate was observed after 22 and 21 days of NPWT in patients 1 and 2, respectively. After that standard wound care was instituted and closure of the fistulae was accomplished in 5 and 7 days, respectively.


Negative-pressure wound therapy can be an effective treatment for pharyngocutaneous fistula closure, either in the setting of fistulae that persist besides multiple surgical revisions using muscle flaps or as a first-line therapy when fistulae develops.

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