The present retrospective analysis evaluated the outcomes of different flap reconstructions for several hypopharyngeal defects in 136 patients who underwent hypopharyngeal reconstruction with a free or pedicled flap after excision of pharyngeal or laryngeal carcinoma. Functional and oncological outcome were the main measures. Nine patients had a type I-a hypopharyngeal defect (partial with larynx preserved), 33 type I-b (partial without larynx preserved), 85 type II (circumferential), 5 type III (extensive superior) and 4 vertical hemipharyngolaryngectomy. The flaps used to reconstruct these defects were pectoralis major (n = 34), free radial forearm (n = 25), jejunum (n = 72), pedicled latissimus dorsi (n = 2), sternocleidomastoid (n = 1), lateral thigh (n = 1) and deltopectoral (n = 1). Twelve defects (9%) needed a secondary flap reconstruction. Surgical and medical complications were seen in 29% and 8% of patients, respectively; 18% of patients developed a fistula. No difference in complication rate or admission days was found for pre-operative versus no previous radiotherapy, type of defect or free versus pedicled flap. After 12 months follow-up, 38% of patients had a tracheo-oesophageal voice prosthesis, in 82% a fully oral diet was obtained and the average body weight gain was 0.9 kg. Five-year overall and disease-specific survival rates were 35% and 49%, respectively, while local and regional control rates were 65% and 91%, respectively. Considering these results, a defect orientated approach may be helpful for deciding which flap should be used for reconstruction of the hypopharynx. An algorithm is proposed with similar functional and oncological outcomes for the different groups. The choice of flap should be based on expected morbidity and functional outcome.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Acta Otorhinolaryngologica Italica|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
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