Original ArticleThe Use of Pedicled and Free Flaps in Laryngeal Cancer Recurrences Postoperative Considerations and Functional ResultsBertino, Giulia MD*; Spasiano, Roberto MD*; Mazzola, Isabella MD†; Benazzo, Marco MD* Author Information From the *Department of Otorhinolaryngology–Head Neck Surgery, University of Pavia, I.R.C.C.S. Policlinico S. Matteo, Pavia, Italy; and the †Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Aachen, Aachen, Germany. Received March 3, 2005, and accepted for publication, after revision, June 2, 2005. Reprints: Giulia Bertino, MD, Clinica Otorinolaringoiatrica, I.R.C.C.S. Policlinico S. Matteo, P.le Golgi 2, 27100 Pavia, Italy. E-mail: [email protected]. Annals of Plastic Surgery: October 2005 - Volume 55 - Issue 4 - p 384-388 doi: 10.1097/01.sap.0000178814.73683.30 Buy Metrics AbstractIn Brief The objective of the study was to compare the rate of complications and the functional outcomes following reconstructive surgery with pedicled and free flaps for recurrences after laryngeal cancer treatment. A retrospective analysis was conducted among the clinical records of the Department of Otolaryngology Head Neck Surgery of the University of Pavia from January 1995 to December 2004. Twenty-three patients were identified as having been reconstructed with pedicled or free flaps for hypopharyngeal recurrences after laryngeal cancer treatment. We observed a higher rate of postoperative complications after pedicled flaps (60%) than free flaps reconstructions (23%). The pedicled flaps group evidenced a longer hospitalization time (35 versus 14 days); a lower rate of patients with pedicled flaps (14% versus 69%) was able to resume a normal feeding 1 year after surgery; no patient achieved an esophageal voice, but the entire free flaps group reached an intelligible voice with the positioning of a voice prosthesis. The possibility to achieve such functional results in this kind of patient justifies the use of a surgical approach that generally requires a longer operation time than pedicled flaps, and the need for a surgical team with special skills in microsurgical techniques. In a retrospective comparison of 13 free flap and 10 pedicle flap reconstructions for recurrent laryngeal cancer, a 60% postoperative complication rate was noted in pedicle flaps and 23% in free flaps. Pedicle flaps also had longer hospitalizations and a lower rate of resumption of oral feeding. © 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.