Multiple Free Flap Reconstructions of Head and Neck Defects Due to Oral Cancer

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Abstract

Objective:

We studied complications following multiple free flap reconstructions in the head and neck.

Methods:

In this cohort, 26 patients (14 men and 12 women) who underwent multiple microvascular free flap reconstructions were included in the study. The reasons for secondary reconstruction were recurrence of tumor (12 cases), necrosis of transferred skin and/or bone (6 cases), reconstruction plate fracture or exposure (4 cases), and others (4 cases). A third reconstruction in 4 cases and a fourth reconstruction in 1 case were performed.

Results:

No flap necrosis occurred. Postsurgical infections occurred at only secondary reconstructions in 7 patients. Although 4 cases with a history of external radiation therapy were anastomosed at contralateral side, those 4 cases suffered from severe pre-and postsurgical infection of the ipsilateral side. Postsurgical infection occurred in 2 cases with anastomoses at the ipsilateral side of the neck and required drainage after secondary surgery.

Conclusions:

A history of external radiation therapy and the existence of severe preoperative infection affected complications after multiple reconstructions.

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