The reconstruction of defects of the head and neck, no matter the cause, begins with a careful assessment of the patient and the defect. Ideally, it ends with the successful execution of the reconstructive procedure that optimally restores form and function with minimal morbidity. There are several treatment possibilities that differ in their indications, technical difficulty, safety, and incidence of complications. This is a review over a period of 13 years of 117 cases of head and neck reconstruction performed by the author. Sixty-eight patients were treated with five different musculocutaneous pedicled flaps, mainly during the first half of the 13-year period. Those based on the pectoral major and latissimus dorsi were the most frequently utilized, mainly in pharyngolaryngeal reconstructions and sometimes as osteomyocutaneous flaps for oromandibular defects. Forty-nine patients had microvascular reconstructive procedures with 12 different types of free flaps. The latissimus dorsi flap was used for reconstruction of the scalp and after excision of intracranial lesions, whereas the serratus anterior or rectus abdominis free flaps were utilized for reconstruction of complex defects of the middle-third of the face. The radial forearm flap and the free jejunum have become the choice for intraoral and pharyngoesophageal reconstruction, respectively. Good results were obtained in both functional and social rehabilitation of the patients. There were three flap losses due to thrombosis of the microvascular anastomosis. There was no surgical mortality. The indications for each pedicled and free flap are discussed.
European Journal of Plastic Surgery – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 15, 2000
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