Outcome of Free Tissue Transfer for Head and Neck Reconstruction in Patients with Vessel Depleted Neck at a Tertiary Care Referral Center

Author(s): Majid Khan


Introduction: In this era of microsurgery, free flap holds remarkable spot in reconstructive surgery. However, free flap for head and neck reconstruction
in vessel depleted neck is a complex procedure jeopardized by various complications associated with post radiotherapy and previous
surgeries. We report our experience with use of the free flaps for the reconstruction of head and neck composite defects in vessel depleted neck.
Methods: This is a retrospective case series (chart review) of patients who underwent reconstruction of composite defects with a free flap, at Aga
Khan University Hospital, Karachi (Pakistan) from January 01, 2016 to December 31, 2020. Data were collected for patient demographics, size of
defect, and size of flap, recipient vessels, post-operative complications and outcome of the free flap in vessel depleted neck.
Results: Over this period, 24 free flaps are included in this study. The overall success rate of free tissue transfer for the head and neck reconstruction
in vessel depleted neck is 92.5%. Mean age of patient was 44.86years. The most frequent free flap was Anterolateral thigh flap.
Conclusion: Free tissue transfer is a reliable option for the reconstruction of large and composite defects in vessel depleted neck.

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