Does microvascular free flap reconstruction in oral squamous cell carcinoma improve patient survival?

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We analyzed our experiences with microvascular reconstruction after oncologic resections for oral squamous cell carcinoma. Has microvascular surgery changed the survival rate of these patients?

DESIGN:

Retrospective study.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

Forty-two consecutive patients enrolled from March 1999 to December 2004. Follow-up time ranged from 1 to 94 months. Survival rates were evaluated by the Kaplan-Meier method and compared among different groups with the use of Cox regression.

RESULTS:

The actuarial 5-year survival rate was 41.9% (SD = 9.6%). Survival rates were also analyzed according to T, N, and stage. The survival was significantly related only to N, which showed a 72.4% increase in the risk related to the increase of one N stage.

CONCLUSIONS:

A comparison between our study group and those of 3 previous similar studies would not provide definitive statistical evidence, but it could certainly suggest a trend. The comparison seems to support that microvascular free tissue transfer does not change the survival of these patients.

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