Secondary head and neck reconstruction using free flap to improve the postoperative function or appearance of cancer survivors

Satoshi Onoda, Yoshihiro Kimata, Narushi Sugiyama, Tomoo Onoda, Nobuyoshi Mizukawa

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Background Secondary reconstructive operations are needed when patients with head and neck cancers have complications such as tumor recurrence after initial treatment. These1 reconstructive procedures are also performed to improve the function and appearance of the head and neck region for many cancer survivors. We reviewed the patients who underwent secondary head and neck reconstruction to improve function and appearance and considered the significance of this procedure for cancer survivors, as well as its associated problems. Methods Among the secondary reconstruction patients, 20 patients underwent reconstruction to improve their function and/or appearance. The goal of reconstruction for the patients was functional improvement in eight cases, appearance improvement in ten cases, and both function and appearance in two cases. Chi-square analyses were performed between the secondary and primary reconstructive groups with regard to the incidence of postoperative complications. Results All transferred flaps survived completely. We performed a small postoperative modification procedure in four cases. Minor complications not requiring surgical correction occurred in 2 of 20 patients. Additional operations were required owing to major postoperative complications in 2 of 20 patients. No significant associations were identified between the secondary and primary reconstructive groups with regard to postoperative complications. Conclusion The outcomes of the present report suggest that secondary reconstructive surgery is a relatively safe procedure. The decision to perform adaptation operations depends on various factors after sufficient discussion with patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-128
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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