Free ileocolon flap is a reliable technique allowing simultaneous restoration of swallowing and speech. The aim is to report our 6-year experience in a single center.
Thirty-seven patients treated between 2010 and 2015 were included in the study. Swallowing and speech function were evaluated in 27 patients with a 7-point and 5-point Likert scale, respectively. Moreover, 12 of them consented to voice spectrum analysis (VSA).
Complications noted were: aspiration (3), esophagocutaneous fistula (2), and stricture (1). Seven patients experienced self-limited diarrhea. Regarding swallowing function, 77.8% scored ≥5 on Likert scale whereas speech Likert scale showed excellent results (score >12) in 74%. VSA demonstrated mean phonation time of 10.75 seconds, mean frequency of 131 Hz and mean dynamic range of 56 dB.
In experienced hands, the ileocolon flap is safe and effective, particularly in patients with long-life expectancy, providing good swallowing and speech function without further procedures/prostheses.