Frequency of Venous Complication in Free Flaps After Head and Neck Cancer Reconstruction

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Author(s): 1.Zuhera Khan 2. Munazza Saleem,3.Fahmina Buriro,4. Mazhar nizam,5.Syed Aqil Shah,6. Asim Durrani,7. Ahmad Rahim Bux

Received: 11/01/2022 | Published: 10/07/2022 | Pages: 39-44 |

Background: With the advancement in clinical techniques, free flap surgery for head and neck defects has gained popularity as a refined microvascular surgical technique that comes with numerous challenges. The objective of this study is to define the frequency of venous complications in free flaps employed for head and neck cancer surgeries in a tertiary care hospital to establish guidelines for the early management of failing flaps and to look for a similar pattern of venous complications in free flaps of the head and neck. Methodology: This prospective study was conducted in the plastic surgery department of Patel Hospital Karachi from January 16th, 2017, to July 16th, 2017. It included all patients with head and neck malignancies who had free flap reconstruction and were examined for venous problems within five days of surgery, regardless of gender. Result: Venous issues were found in 6 out of 70 free flaps (8.6%) in head and neck cancer reconstruction, resulting in a 95.4% flap success rate. Even when external factors were not considered, venous thrombosis was the most common cause of venous complications. Conclusion: The study concluded that venous complications are the most common reason for free flap failure, followed by arterial causes, neck hematoma, recipient or donor artery issues, and infections.

Keywords | Free flaps, venous complications in free flaps, salvage flaps, microvascular free tissue transfer