Breast conserving surgery for breast cancer has led to an increased interest in reconstruction following mastectomy. The transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap has been proven to give good results in terms of restoration of body symmetry with near normal contour and consistency. Furthermore, immediate reconstruction has the advantage of a single procedure with less psychological morbidity, and reduction in hospital stay and overall complication rate. The aim of this study was to review our experience with the transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap procedure an initial series of 45 patients. The overall complication rate of 27% is similar to that reported in the literature, with no total flap loss and nine patients with partial flap loss. There was no delay in commencement of adjuvant chemotherapy or radiotherapy and we believe our ability to detect local recurrence has not been compromised. We consider that immediate breast reconstruction is now an integral part of the surgical treatment of breast cancer.
The use of an inferiorly based rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap taken through the pelvis is described. It provides rapid healing of large perineal wounds following excision of advanced perineal malignancy or rectal excision in association with radiotherapy. Two cases were completely satisfactory, but the flap was lost in the third case because of delayed venous thrombosis. It is recommended that the rectus muscle below the entry of the inferior epigastric artery is not completely divided to prevent kinking of the vessels.
Symptomatic perineal hernias following abdomino-perineal excision of rectum have been reported to occur uncommonly. We present the case of a 79-year-old gentleman who developed a perineal hernia after laparoscopic-assisted extralevator abdomino-perineal excision (ELAPE) of the rectum. Despite initial myocutaneous flap repair, there was further symptomatic recurrence. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated non-compromised bowel extending beneath the gracilis flap with extension into the adductor compartment of the left thigh. Given the recurrent nature, a rectus flap repair was performed and after 15 months, he remains hernia free. There is currently no consensus as to the optimal operative technique in the prevention and management of these hernias; however, primary reconstruction at the time of ELAPE may be preferable. Symptomatic perineal hernias can be severely debilitating and require operative repair. We suggest that surgical options should be discussed and carried out with the input of a Plastic surgeon.
Perineal wound complications following abdominoperineal resection (APR) is a common occurrence. Risk factors such as operative technique, preoperative radiation therapy, and indication for surgery (i.e., rectal cancer, anal cancer, or inflammatory bowel disease [IBD]) are strong predictors of these complications. Patient risk factors include diabetes, obesity, and smoking. Intraoperative perineal wound management has evolved from open wound packing to primary closure with closed suctioned transabdominal pelvic drains. Wide excision is used to gain local control in cancer patients, and coupled with the increased use of pelvic radiation therapy, we have experienced increased challenges with primary closure of the perineal wound. Tissue transfer techniques such as omental pedicle flaps, and vertical rectus abdominis and gracilis muscle or myocutaneous flaps are being used to reconstruct large perineal defects and decrease the incidence of perineal wound complications. Wound failure is frequently managed by wet to dry dressing changes, but can result in prolonged hospital stay, hospital readmission, home nursing wound care needs, and the expenditure of significant medical costs. Adjuvant therapies to conservative wound care have been suggested, but evidence is still lacking. The use of the vacuum-assisted closure device has shown promise in chronic soft tissue wounds; however, experience is lacking, and is likely due to the difficulty in application techniques.
Abdominoperineal resection; perineal wound complication; wound management; tissue transfer; vacuum-assisted closure device
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the correlation between risk factors and hernia or bulge formation at the donor site of the transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (TRAM) flap. A retrospective study was conducted between September 2005 and December 2008 in 206 patients who underwent breast reconstruction with pedicled TRAM flap. Eight (3.9%) of these patients had abdominal wall hernia and 26 (12.6%) had abdominal bulging. The incidence of hernia was significantly higher (P < 0.05) among patients with body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 kg/m2 (hernia incidence, 15.0%) than that among patients with BMI <30 kg/m2 (hernia incidence, 3.2%), while the incidence of abdominal bulge was significantly lower (P < 0.05) among patients with BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 (abdominal bulge incidence, 5.0%) than that among patients with BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 (abdominal bulge incidence, 19.1%). Therefore, obesity was identified as a risk factor for abdominal wall hernia. It was also found that the use of mesh to reinforce the abdominal wall significantly reduced (P < 0.025) the incidence of hernia (use of mesh (hernia incidence, 2.5%) versus non-mesh (hernia incidence, 5.9%)) and abdominal bulge (use of mesh (abdominal bulge incidence, 9.9%) versus non-mesh (abdominal bulge incidence, 17.3%)) among the patients.
Surgical flaps; Mastectomy; Mammaplasty; Rectus abdominis; Breast diseases
As the diagnosis of breast cancer increases, so does the amount of information available to the patient regarding treatment. Patients have become more informed regarding treatment and reconstructive options in recent years. The plastic surgery community has attempted to provide reconstructive options that give the best result with the least donor-site morbidity. By using these criteria, the deep inferior epigastric artery perforator flap (DIEAP) flap has been developed based on previous experience with the free and pedicled transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap reconstruction. The DIEAP flap provides autologous tissue for breast reconstruction, which is similar in makeup to the patient's own breast, while minimizing donor-site morbidity. Over the past decade, the DIEAP flap has been a reliable and reproducible method for autologous breast reconstruction.
DIEP; DIEAP; perforator flap; autologous breast reconstruction
Although multiple strategies for autologous breast reconstruction exist, a vertical midline scar in the abdominal wall as a result of previous laparatomy or abdominoplasty represents a major surgical challenge. To date, little research has been conducted on the regeneration potential of the abdominal wall’s superficial vascular, perforator and choke vessel system after surgery using a vertical approache.
We present the cases of 8 patients, of whom 7 underwent autologous breast reconstruction. One patient received a thigh reconstruction. All patients had a vertical abdominal midline scar as a result of a previous surgical intervention. In 3 of the 7 patients, the breast was reconstructed using an MS-2-vertical rectus abdominis myocutaneous (VRAM) free flap. In 4 of these patients, an MS-2-transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (TRAM) free flap was performed. The thigh reconstruction used a transverse deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) free flap. Clinical follow-up was done 12 months after operation.
All 3 patients who received an MS-2-VRAM had good aesthetic results. Vertical midline scars had no negative effect on surgical outcomes, perfusion and tissue viability of the 4 MS-2-TRAM and transverse DIEP free flaps.
These clinical findings indicate that the regeneration potential of the abdominal wall’s superficial vascular system in the presence of vertical surgical scars has been greatly underestimated. Use of MS-2-VRAM free flaps in patients with vertical abdominal scars seems to be a suitable and successful alternative in the reconstruction algorithm.
A 64-year-old woman with recurrence of carcinoma of the vulva in an irradiated area received an en-bloc total pelvic exenteration. Reconstruction of the pelvic defect was performed with an anterolateral thigh (ALT) flap and a rectus abdominis muscle (RAM) flap (PM/RAM). This combination of flaps is unique, with excellent results.
In a large defect, often irradiated in advance, well-vascularised tissue should be placed. Multiple flaps can be used to reconstruct these large pelvic defects, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
The combination of flaps used in this case uses the good properties of both flaps: the reliable and well-vascularised PM/RAM in combination with the ALT flap to provide much bulk in extreme large defects.
As microvascular techniques continue to improve, perforator flap free tissue transfer is now the gold standard for autologous breast reconstruction. Various options are available for breast reconstruction with autologous tissue. These include the free transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (TRAM) flap, deep inferior epigastric perforator flap, superficial inferior epigastric artery flap, superior gluteal artery perforator flap, and transverse/vertical upper gracilis flap. In addition, pedicled flaps can be very successful in the right hands and the right patient, such as the pedicled TRAM flap, latissimus dorsi flap, and thoracodorsal artery perforator. Each flap comes with its own advantages and disadvantages related to tissue properties and donor-site morbidity. Currently, the problem is how to determine the most appropriate flap for a particular patient among those potential candidates. Based on a thorough review of the literature and accumulated experiences in the author's institution, this article provides a logical approach to autologous breast reconstruction. The algorithms presented here can be helpful to customize breast reconstruction to individual patient needs.
Breast cancer; Breast reconstruction; Free tissue flaps
The purpose of this case report is to demonstrate the use of bone anchors with an autologous flap in perineal reconstruction. This technique has not been reported before. A 64-year-old female presented to our office with a chief complaint of perineal hernia 1.5 years after abdominoperineal resection. She had a history of recurrent rectal cancer for which she received chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. To repair the hernia, a standard vertical rectus abdominismyocutaneous was harvested and de-epithelialized. It was secured into place in the pelvis utilizing several bone anchors. Mesh was used to repair the donor site defect. At 18 month follow-up, there was good healing of all the wounds and no recurrence of the hernia. She was pain free and able to resume her activities of daily living. Bone anchor fixation is a viable technique for fixation of autologous flaps in perineal reconstruction.
We present our experience of rectus abdominis flaps tunnelled transpelvically in 12 patients (mean age 48.4 years, range 19-72 years) with a diverse range of surgical pathologies, the largest reported series to date. Satisfactory obturation of the pelvic cavity and control of radionecrotic tissue sepsis was achieved. Average duration of hospital stay was 17.6 days with a mean follow-up of 18.7 months. The rectus abdominis flap provides a significant volume of well-vascularised tissue, ideally suited for reconstruction of extensive perineal defects after tumour ablative surgery. When tunnelled transpelvically, the flap is unique in its ability to obturate the pelvic inlet, eliminating the distressing complication of perineal bowel herniation and allowing for perineal radiotherapy.
Breast reconstruction using autologous tissue is commonly accomplished using the transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (TRAM) flap. The establishment of microvascular surgery led to the development of the free TRAM flap because of its increased vascularity and decreased rectus abdominis sacrifice. The muscle-sparing free TRAM, DIEP, and SIEA flap techniques followed in an effort to decrease abdominal donor site morbidity by decreasing injury to the rectus abdominis muscle and fascia. Data have accumulated over the past decade that show that muscle- and fascia-sparing techniques, such as the use of DIEP flaps, result in measurably better postoperative abdominal strength. However, muscle-sparing techniques do not appear to decrease the risk of abdominal bulging or hernia, and there are no significant differences in patient-reported abdominal weakness or functional impairments. The SIEA flap is presented as a reemerging method that can virtually eliminate abdominal donor site morbidity. Sensory nerve coaptation to improve reconstructed breast sensation is also reviewed.
Breast reconstruction; flap; TRAM; DIEP; SIEA
The free muscle-sparing transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (MS-TRAM) and deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flaps involve transferring skin and subcutaneous tissue from the lower abdominal area and have many features that make them well suited for breast reconstruction. The robust blood supply of the free flap reduces the risk of fat necrosis and also enables aggressive shaping of the flap for breast reconstruction to optimize the aesthetic outcome. In addition, the free MS-TRAM flap and DIEP flap require minimal donor-site sacrifice in most cases. With proper patient selection and safe surgical technique, the free MS-TRAM flap and DIEP flap can transfer the lower abdominal skin and subcutaneous tissue to provide an aesthetically pleasing breast reconstruction with minimal donor-site morbidity.
Free tissue flaps; Mammaplasty; Mastectomy
Whenever there is soft tissue loss from the perineum there are many options for reconstruction. These include allowing the wound to heal by secondary intention and the use of local random or axial pattern flaps, regional flaps, or free flaps. The axial skin flap can be defined as a flap based on known constant vessels of the subcutaneous tissue and its vena comitantes. The perforator flap on the other hand is a randomly selected perforator consisting of an artery with vena comitantes, which perforate the deep fascia to supply the subcutaneous vascular networks. The perineum has a rich blood supply with multiple perforating vessels, and the vascular network of the perineum is similar to that of the head and neck. Anatomically, there exist circles of anastomosis around any orifice or joint. The perineum has two outlets: the urogenital and the anal. The arterial network of the perineum is supplied by the vessels of the lower abdomen, medial thigh, and gluteal region. Knowledge of the rich blood supply of the perineum can be applied to harvest the various types of perforator flaps in perineal reconstruction.
Skin flap; perforator flaps; perineal reconstruction
An alcoholic 50-year-old male patient with a history of schizophrenia sustained stab wounds into both ventricles and left lung, and survived following an emergency department thoracotomy. The EDT wound, however became infected requiring serial debridements of soft tissue, rib cartilage and sternum. Regional flap options such as pectoralis major and latissimus dorsi muscle flaps could not be employed due to inadequate reach of these flaps. Additionally, bilateral transection of the internal mammary arteries during emergency thoracotomy eliminated the use of rectus abdominis muscles as pedicled flaps based on the superior epigastric vasculature. Therefore, the EDT wound was reconstructed by using the right rectus abdominis muscle as a free flap. The deep inferior epigastric vessels of the flap were anastomosed to the right internal mammary vessels proximal to their transection level in the third-forth intercostal space. The flap healed with no further wound complications.
Breast reconstruction with autologous tissue transfer is now a standard operation, but abnormalities of the abdominal wall contour represent a complication which has led surgeons to invent techniques to minimize the morbidity of the donor site.
We report the case of a woman who had bilateral transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap (TRAM-flap) breast reconstruction. The surgery led to the patient developing an enormous abdominal bulge that caused her disability in terms of abdominal wall and bowel function, pain and contour. In the absence of rectus muscle, the large defect was repaired using a combination of the abdominal wall component separation technique of Ramirez et al and additional mesh augmentation with a lightweight, large-pore polypropylene mesh (Ultrapro®).
The procedure of Ramirez et al is helpful in achieving a tension-free closure of large defects in the anterior abdominal wall. The additional mesh augmentation allows reinforcement of the thinned lateral abdominal wall.
A soft tissue defect requiring flap cover which is longer than that provided by the conventional “long” free flaps like latissimus dorsi (LD) and anterolateral thigh (ALT) flap is a challenging problem. Often, in such a situation, a combination of flaps is required. Over the last 3 years, we have managed nine such defects successfully with a free “Boomerang-shaped” Extended Rectus Abdominis Myocutaneous (BERAM) flap. This flap is the slightly modified and “free” version of a similar flap described by Ian Taylor in 1983.
Materials and Methods:
This is a retrospective study of patients who underwent free BERAM flap reconstruction of soft tissue defects of extremity over the last 3 years. We also did a clinical study on 30 volunteers to compare the length of flap available using our design of BERAM flap with the maximum available flap length of LD and ALT flaps, using standard markings.
Our clinical experience of nine cases combined with the results of our clinical study has confirmed that our design of BERAM flap consistently provides a flap length which is 32.6% longer than the standard LD flap and 42.2% longer than the standard ALT flap in adults. The difference is even more marked in children. The BERAM flap is consistently reliable as long as the distal end is not extended beyond the mid-axillary line.
BERAM flap is simple in design, easy to harvest, reliable and provides the longest possible free skin/myocutaneous flap in the body. It is a useful new alternative for covering long soft tissue defects in the limbs.
Extended rectus abdominis free flap; longest myocutaneous free flap; soft tissue reconstruction of extremities
Objective: This article serves to review latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap as an option for breast reconstruction postmastectomy. Since the introduction of the latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap in the late 1970s, its use has always been as a secondary technique, particularly after the development of the transverse rectus abdominus myocutaneous flap in the 1980s. Methods: A literature review of the history of latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap utilized for breast reconstruction as well as a review of our institution's experience with latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap and tissue expander placement was performed. Results: There remains a paucity of published studies investigating latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap for breast reconstruction. Most studies have small numbers and do not utilize tissue expanders. More recently several small studies have been published that show acceptably low complication rates with aesthetically pleasing outcomes when latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap is employed with a tissue expander. At our institution, we have employed latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap with tissue expander placement for both delayed and immediate reconstruction with subsequent replacement with a permanent implant with a capsular contraction rate of 10.5%. Our data and others more recently published demonstrate very acceptable capsular contracture rates and aesthetic outcomes, particularly when an expander is utilized. Conclusion: The latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap remains an excellent choice for breast reconstruction with a low risk of complications.
Our objective was to compare the complication rates of two common breast reconstruction techniques performed at our hospital and the cost-effectiveness for each test group.
All patients who underwent deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap and transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (TRAM) flap by the same surgeon were selected and matched according to age and mastectomy with or without axillary clearance. Patients from each resultant group were selected, with the patients matched chronologically. The remainder were matched for by co-morbidities. Sixteen patients who underwent immediate breast reconstruction with pedicled TRAM flaps and 16 patients with DIEP flaps from 1999 to 2006 were accrued. The average total hospitalisation cost, length of hospitalisation, and complications in the 2 year duration after surgery for each group were compared.
Complications arising from both the pedicled TRAM flaps and DIEP flaps included fat necrosis (TRAM, 3/16; DIEP, 4/16) and other minor complications (TRAM, 3/16; DIEP, 1/16). The mean hospital stay was 7.13 days (range, 4 to 12 days) for the pedicled TRAM group and 7.56 (range, 5 to 10 days) for the DIEP group. Neither the difference in complication rates nor in hospital stay duration were statistically significant. The total hospitalisation cost for the DIEP group was significantly higher than that of the pedicled TRAM group (P<0.001).
Based on our study, the pedicled TRAM flap remains a cost-effective technique in breast reconstruction when compared to the newer, more expensive and tedious DIEP flap.
Perforator flap; Surgical flap; Mammoplasty; Complications
The evaluation of a breast after breast reconstruction depends on a surgeon's subjective criteria. We used computed tomography (CT) scans to obtain an objective evaluation of the postoperative results by measuring the breast volume of patients who had undergone breast reconstruction using pedicled transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (TRAM) flaps. This research will help in the objective postoperative evaluation of reconstructed breasts, and also in the preoperative flap size designs.
A total of 27 patients underwent breast reconstruction using pedicled TRAM flaps after mastectomy from September 2007 to July 2010. Of these, 10 patients who were followed up and underwent CT scans 2 or more times during the follow-up period were included in this study. We evaluated the change in breast volume over time using CT scans, and the interval breast volume change between CT scans.
All of the 10 patients' reconstructed breasts showed a volume decrease over time. The breast volume changes in the intervals between CT scans were as follows: 5.65% decrease between the first CT and second CT scan, 2.3% decrease between the second CT and third CT scan, (statistically significant) and 1.89% decrease between the third CT and forth CT scan. (not statistically significant).
This research shows the possibility of objectively evaluating the postoperative breast volume changes. The findings will be helpful in designing the size of TRAM flaps to use on defects after mastectomy. Based on these results, we should also closely observe the reconstructed breast volume for at least 2 years.
Mammaplasty; Multidetector computed tomography; Organ size
No consensus has been reached regarding the outcome of management of local recurrence after transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (TRAM) flap breast reconstruction. This study demonstrated the presentation, management, and outcomes of local recurrence after immediate TRAM breast reconstruction.
A comparison was conducted among 1,000 consecutive patients who underwent immediate breast reconstruction with a pedicled TRAM flap (TRAM group) and 3,183 consecutive patients who underwent only modified radical mastectomy without reconstruction (MRM group) from January 2001 to December 2009. The presentation, treatment, and outcome including aesthetics and overall survival rate were analyzed.
Local recurrences occurred in 18 (1.8%) patients (TRAM-LR group) who underwent TRAM breast reconstruction and 38 (1.2%) patients (MRM-LR group) who underwent MRM only (P=0.1712). Wide excision was indicated in almost all the local recurrence cases. Skin graft was required in 4 patients in the MRM-LR group, whereas only one patient required a skin graft to preserve the mound shape in the TRAM-LR group. The breast mound was maintained in all 17 patients that survived in the TRAM-LR group even after wide excision. The overall survival rate was 94.4% in the TRAM-LR group and 65.8% in the MRM-LR group (P=0.276).
Local recurrence after immediate TRAM flap breast reconstruction could be detected without delay and managed effectively by multiple modalities without reducing overall survival rates. Breast mound reconstruction with soft autologous tissue allowed for primary closure in most of the cases. In all of the patients who survived, the contour of their reconstructed breast remained.
Breast neoplasms; Mammaplasty; Neoplasm recurrence, local
Large and life-threatening thoracic cage defects can result from the treatment of traumatic injuries, tumors, infection, congenital anomalies, and radiation injury and require prompt reconstruction to restore respiratory function and soft tissue closure. Important factors for consideration are coverage with healthy tissue to heal a wound, the potential alteration in respiratory mechanics created by large extirpations or nonhealing thoracic wounds, and the need for immediate coverage for vital structures. The choice of technique depends on the size and extent of the defect, its location, and donor site availability with consideration to previous thoracic or abdominal operations. The focus of this article is specifically to describe the use of the pectoralis major, latissimus dorsi, and rectus abdominis muscle flaps for reconstruction of thoracic defects, as these are the workhorse flaps commonly used for chest wall reconstruction.
Chest wall reconstruction; flap; latissimus dorsi; pectoralis major; rectus abdominis; sternal osteomyelitis
Necrotising fasciitis (NF) is a rare, severe, rapidly progressing and life-threatening synergistic infection primarily affecting the superficial fascia. A novel method of definitive and aesthetic reconstruction of NF thigh defects by using a pedicled transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (TRAM) flap without recourse to temporising skin grafts is presented.
PRESENTATION OF CASE
A 30-year-old parous woman presented in extremis with fulminant NF of her left anteromedial thigh. Following emergency radical debridement and intensive care stabilisation she was reconstructed 48 h later in a single stage with a pedicled TRAM flap islanded on the ipsilateral deep inferior epigastric vessels. There was excellent contour restoration of her thigh and coverage of the exposed femoral vessels.
Pedicled flaps based on the rectus abdominis muscle provide a large, readily available reconstructive option for correction of substantial regional defects as herein illustrated. They are robust when based on dominant inferior vascular pedicle with a long reach and wide arc of rotation when designed transversely (as a TRAM flap).
This case also illustrates that definitive flap reconstruction of NF can be successfully undertaken in the emergent setting, thereby negating the need for large areas of skin grafting which can lead to contractures with consequent functional impairment and suboptimal aesthetic results.
Necrotising fasciitis; Pedicled flap; Transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (TRAM) flap; Thigh reconstruction; Abdominoplasty; Radical debridement
The era of breast conserving treatment of early-stage breast carcinoma has created reconstructive challenges for the plastic surgeon. Although good to excellent cosmetic outcomes occur in the majority of patients, a significant number could benefit from additional reconstructive measures. Because of the need for continuing surveillance following breast-conserving therapy, estimated at 5–10% after fifteen years, plastic surgeons should choose techniques that do not interfere with the detection of recurrent breast carcinoma. Myocutaneous flaps-in particular, the latissimus dorsi and transverse rectus abdominis—have fulfilled the reconstructive needs of these patients by providing well-vascularized soft tissue. Postoperative radiological evaluation has demonstrated that these flaps are radiolucent, unlike breast implants that can obscure accurate mammographic interpretation.
Myocutaneous flaps have been used for both immediate and delayed reconstruction of post-breast conservation deformities. The delayed approach offers the benefit of an established contour deformity that usually involves cutaneous, parenchymal, and nipple-areolar components. Moderate overcorrection of the defect has been advocated in anticipation of ongoing postradiation wound contraction and fibrosis. Immediate reconstruction of lumpectomy and partial mastectomy defects permits wider initial excision of the breast lesion, but can be compromised by positive histological margins. Long-term results suggest stability of the aesthetic outcome following reconstruction of delayed deformities.
Reconstruction; breast; conservation; deformity
We assessed the feasibility and safety of free flap reconstruction in children undergoing extensive surgical excision of malignant head and neck tumors. We performed a retrospective review in a tertiary referral center of all patients aged 18 years or younger who underwent free flap reconstruction following resection of malignant head and neck tumors at our institution. Main outcome measures included complications at the primary and donor sites, functional and esthetic outcome, and tumor control. Eight of the 237 (3.4%) free flap reconstructions were performed on children. All tumors were malignant sarcomas. Ablative surgery was via a transfacial (n = 4) or a combined approach (n = 4). Transferred free flaps were the rectus abdominis (n = 3), gracilis (n = 3), fibula (n = 1), and anterolateral thigh (n = 1). The mean follow-up was 25.5 months. The overall early and late complication rates were 50% and 25%, respectively. There were no flap losses and no donor site complications. Functional outcome, including mastication, deglutition, and speech, was satisfactory. Local tumor control rate at last follow-up was 87.5%. Free flap reconstruction is an efficient and relatively safe technique for reconstructing surgical defects of the head and neck in children undergoing extensive surgery for malignant disease.
Head and neck surgery; skull base surgery; free flap reconstruction; pediatric oncology; sarcoma