Following oncologic surgery for advanced cancer of the hypopharynx, primary closure of the defect of the upper aerodigestive tract is difficult to achieve. Usually locoregional or free flaps are used, the choice being determined by the extent of the surgical defect, the expertise of the surgeons and the general condition of the patient. Aim of the present study was to evaluate the functional recovery of patients who underwent surgical reconstruction, following hypopharyngeal cancer resection, with pedicled or free flaps. A retrospective analysis was conducted examining hospital records of the patients submitted to surgical treatment for hypopharyngeal cancer and reconstruction with pedicled or free flaps in the period between January 1995 and July 2004. Free flaps showed less severe complications, shorter hospital stay, less time to resume oral feeding compared with pedicled flaps. For this reason, we consider free flaps the gold standard for hypopharyngeal reconstruction, while pedicled flaps as the pectoralis major or other locoregional flaps should be used in those cases in which free flap reconstruction is not feasible or contraindicated.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Acta Otorhinolaryngologica Italica|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2006|
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