Deltopectoral and Pectoralis Musculocutaneous Flap Technique for Cervical Esophageal Reconstruction after Free-Jejunal-Flap Necrosis

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Background:Free jejunal transfer has a high success rate, but if vascular thrombosis occurs, the salvage of failing flap with reanastomosis is difficult. This study described a combined deltopectoral (DP) and pectoralis major musculocutaneous (PMMC) flap 2-step technique for cervical esophageal reconstruction after free-jejunal-flap necrosis.Methods:In step 1, the detection of free jejunal flap with the subsequent debridement of necrotic and infected tissue was followed by the construction of external fistula on the pharyngeal side with the hole in cervical skin and the construction of another external fistula on the esophageal side and tracheal stoma with a single or double DP flap. In step 2, after the primary healing of all wounds was confirmed, a wide hinge flap was elevated for reconstructing the posterior wall or full circumferential defect of cervical esophagus. PMMC flap harvested from either the left or right anterior chest wall was used for reconstructing the cervical surface defect or anterior pharyngeal wall.Results:This technique was used for cervical esophageal reconstruction after free-jejunal-flap necrosis in 5 patients. Step 1 surgery was performed at an average of 10 days after primary-free-jejunal flap transfer. Oral intake was resumed in all cases at an average of 117 days after step 2 surgery. No complications including esophageal stricture were found during a 6-month follow-up period.Conclusions:Combined DP and PMMC flap technique was useful for cervical esophageal reconstruction after free-jejunal-flap necrosis and applicable to patients with the late detection of jejunal necrosis and surgical-site infection.

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