A new concept and technique for reconstruction of the lower pharyngeal space using the free jejunal graft

Yoshihiro Kimata, Kiyotaka Uchiyama, Satoshi Ebihara, Masao Asai, Masahisa Saihawa, Ryuichi Hayashi, Waichiro Ohyama, Tatsumasa Haneda, Tahashi Nahatsuka, Kiyonori Harii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To report on a new concept and simple operative procedure to conform the diameter of the oral end of free jejunal grafts to that of pharyngeal defects for reconstruction of the lower pharyngeal space. Design and Methods: A preliminary study showed that the jejunum is supplied by a highly vascular network and that longitudinal paramesenteric incisions can be made without disturbing the blood supply of the jejunum. We then developed the following operative procedure. The position of the highest point of the pharyngeal defect and the site of the recipient vessels are determined. The free jejunal graft is positioned with its mesentery in correspondence with the location of the recipient vessels. The position of a longitudinal incision 180°to the highest point of the defect is then determined. After the oral border of the jejunum is opened with scissors, a pharyngojejunal end-to-end anastomosis is performed. Patients: Eighteen patients with defects of the lower pharyngeal space after cancer treatment. Results: We transferred jejunal grafts in 18 patients using this operative procedure. In 7 of these patients, paramesenteric incisions were made. The lengths of the incisions ranged from 2 to 8 cm. Transfer was successful in all 18 patients. Postoperative leakage occurred in 1 patient in whom an antimesenteric incision had been made; however, a fistula did not develop. Conclusions: Our method allows defects of the lower pharyngeal space to be reconstructed with end-to-end anastomosis of free jejunal grafts regardless of the location of the defect or of recipient vessels. This method is simple and appropriate for correcting large pharyngeal defects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)745-749
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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