Reconstructive objectives after major head and neck surgery include adequate wound healing and optimal residual function. The most appropriate means to achieve this is through the applications of microvascular free flaps. Mainly defects in the oral cavity and oropharynx are reconstructed in this way. The most often used flap is the free radial forearm flap. When bulk or bone is needed other free flaps such as the rectus abdominis flap, the lattisimus dorsi flap, fibula flap or iliac crest flap can be used. The overall success rate is more than 90% and is mainly determined by the patency of the vessels. Comorbidity is an important prognostic factor. Using free flap reconstructions a good quality of life can be achieved. The costs of free flap reconstructions are not higher than reconstructions using pedicled flaps.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Keel- Neus- Oorheelkunde|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jul 2004|