Original ArticlesUsefulness of Color Doppler Sonography for Assessing Hemodynamics of Free Flaps for Head and Neck ReconstructionNumata, Tsutomu MD; Iida, Yumiko MD; Shiba, Keisuke MD; Hanazawa, Toyoyuki MD; Terada, Nobuhisa MD; Nagata, Hiroshi MD; Konno, Akiyoshi MD Author Information From the Department of Otolaryngology, Chiba University, School of Medicine, Japan. Received Sep 5, 2001, and in revised form Oct 16, 2001. Accepted for publication Oct 16, 2001. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr Numata, Department of Otolaryngology, Chiba University, School of Medicine, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuoh-ku, Chiba, 260-0856, Japan. Numat T, Iida Y, Shiba K, Hanazawa T, Terada N, Nagata H, Konno A. Usefulness of color Doppler sonography for assessing hemodynamics of free flaps for head and neck reconstruction. Annals of Plastic Surgery: June 2002 - Volume 48 - Issue 6 - p 607-612 Buy Abstract This report focuses on the monitoring of intraoperative and postoperative hemodynamics of free flaps for repair of head and neck defects by color Doppler sonography (CDS). The study group included 20 patients with head and neck cancer who underwent resection and reconstruction with free flaps. The hemodynamics in the feeding arteries of the flaps were measured during the following six stages: before surgery, immediately after microvascular anastomosis, and on postoperative days 1, 3, 5, and 7. The pulsatility index (PI) was used as the index for measuring changes in hemodynamics over time. Grafts showed the maximal PI immediately after vascular anastomosis. PI decreased over 3 to 7 days. Of the 20 patients, 1 patient in whom the hypopharynx was reconstructed with the radial forearm flap developed venous occlusion. This was diagnosed during the early stage using CDS, allowing the flap to be saved. CDS proved to be very useful for real-time observation of the hemodynamics in free flaps. © 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.