There is ongoing controversy regarding the most appropriate venous drainage pattern for anastomosing the radial forearm free flap in head and neck reconstruction. Although the various perforator flaps have been used in our practice, the authors evaluated the impact of venous outflow pattern on the incidence of only the radial forearm free flap compromise for minimizing the bias. The authors retrospectively reviewed 309 radial forearm free flaps used for head and neck reconstruction following cancer ablation (January 2005 to December 2015), and evaluated the association between the incidence of venous insufficiency and the choice of venous system in the flap and at the recipient site, the number of venous anastomoses, and the combination of flap and recipient venous systems. No significant association was found between the incidence of venous insufficiency and the risk factors evaluated. Compared with single or dual anastomosis involving only the vena comitantes, dual anastomosis involving distinct venous systems was associated with lower incidence of venous insufficiency (P = 0.039). The dual anastomosis of separate venous system was correlated with lower incidence of venous insufficiency compared with the single or dual anastomosis of vena comitantes only (P = 0.039).
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Jong Woo Choi, MD, PhD, MMM, Professor, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, 88, Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul 05505, Korea; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received 5 September, 2018
Accepted 27 November, 2018
The authors report no conflicts of interest.