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Bilateral Harvesting of a Fibula Free Flap

Assessment of Morbidity

Ferrari, Silvano, MD*; Perlangeli, Giuseppe, MD*; Mammi, Patrizia, MD; Varazzani, Andrea, MD*; Bianchi, Bernardo, MD*; Fusetti, Stefano, MD, DMD; Brevi, Bruno Carlo, MD§; Ferri, Andrea, MD*

doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000004674
Clinical Studies

Purpose: To investigate morbidity related to harversting of bilateral fibula free flap for head and neck reconstruction using subjective and functional tests.

Methods: Patients were retrospectively evaluated using point evaluation system (PES) and balance evaluation systems test (BESTest) questionnaires to assess morbidity related to surgery.

Results: Five patients were enrolled in the study. Mean PES scores was 22.2 over 24. Mean overall function assessed with BESTest was 77.6%, and the results were poorest for section I. Sections V and VI had scores of 88% and 83%, respectively, indicating that the sensory balance and gait stability of the patients were compromised only minimally.

Conclusion: Bilateral harvesting of the fibula free flap is not associated with an increase in long-term morbidity and does not lead to significant functional impairments. Therefore, this procedure should be considered safe, and can be performed without concern regarding morbidity, when bone reconstruction with a fibula free flap is indicated.

*Maxillo-Facial Surgery Division, Head and Neck Department

Rehabilitation Department, University Hospital of Parma, Parma

Maxillofacial Surgery Unit, Department of Neuroscience, University of Padova Medical School, Padova

§Maxillo-Facial Surgery Division, Head and Neck Department, University Hospital of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Andrea Varazzani, MD, Maxillo-Facial Surgery Division, Head and Neck Department, via Gramsci 14, 43100 Parma, Italy; E-mail: andrea2787@libero.it

Received 16 November, 2017

Accepted 16 April, 2018

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Supplemental digital contents are available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (www.jcraniofacialsurgery.com).

© 2018 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD.