: A 10-year retrospective study was undertaken to investigate perioperative complications in pharyngeal flap surgery in one institution using inferiorly and superiorly based flaps. In this fashion the current practice of surgical technique based on local findings and perioperative care, through regular monitoring by experienced nurses on the ward, was evaluated for adequacy. The charts of 275 patients who had 287 pharyngeal flap procedures were studied. Demographics, type and duration of operation, associated procedures, surgeon, anesthetist, duration of hospital stay, associated medical conditions, and perioperative complications such as bleeding, respiratory insufficiency, or flap dehiscence were evaluated. In this series a total complication rate of 6 percent was found, with 2.4 percent early (<6 weeks) and 3.8 percent late (>6 weeks) complications. Only two patients (0.7 percent) had postoperative bleeding requiring reoperation, and one patient (0.3 percent) needed reintubation. The most frequent complication was flap dehiscence in nine patients (3.1 percent), which occurred early in three and late in six. Pharyngeal flap surgery can be performed safely with very few complications provided the correct experience and infrastructure are present. Careful surgery, in conjunction with adequate anesthesia and postoperative monitoring, makes these procedures safe and rewarding.
(C)2002American Society of Plastic Surgeons