Bilateral Harvesting of a Fibula Free Flap: Assessment of Morbidity

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Abstract

Purpose:

To investigate morbidity related to harversting of bilateral fibula free flap for head and neck reconstruction using subjective and functional tests.

Methods:

Patients were retrospectively evaluated using point evaluation system (PES) and balance evaluation systems test (BESTest) questionnaires to assess morbidity related to surgery.

Results:

Five patients were enrolled in the study. Mean PES scores was 22.2 over 24. Mean overall function assessed with BESTest was 77.6%, and the results were poorest for section I. Sections V and VI had scores of 88% and 83%, respectively, indicating that the sensory balance and gait stability of the patients were compromised only minimally.

Conclusion:

Bilateral harvesting of the fibula free flap is not associated with an increase in long-term morbidity and does not lead to significant functional impairments. Therefore, this procedure should be considered safe, and can be performed without concern regarding morbidity, when bone reconstruction with a fibula free flap is indicated.

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