INTRODUCTIONDevices for microvascular anastomosis have been available for several decades and their use in major head and neck surgery has increased rapidly in recent years. Reported complications are usually related to the risk of anastomotic failure or vessel thrombosis. To our knowledge, infectious complications relating to venous couplers have not previously been described in the head and neck cancer population.Surgical site infections after surgery for head and neck cancer are defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as infections occurring within 30 days postoperatively. Late‐onset (>30 days) wound breakdown from infection is rare, and usually occurs only in the setting of osteoradionecrosis or recurrent cancer. We present a case of late‐onset neck abscess developing at the surgical site 7 weeks postoperatively in the setting of chemoradiation, with subsequent healing but 2 relapses despite completing radiation. There was no evidence of recurrent cancer or osteoradionecrosis, and removal of a venous coupler led to infection resolution without relapse.CASE REPORTA 79‐year‐old woman with a history of squamous cell carcinoma of the left lateral tongue treated with partial glossectomy 8 years earlier presented with recurrent cancer in the same location. She underwent near total glossectomy, left modified radical neck dissection, tracheotomy,
Head & Neck: Journal for the Sciences & Specialties of the Head and Neck – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ;
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