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Impact of Venous Outflow Pattern on Flap Compromise in Head and Neck Reconstruction

Review of 309 Radial Forearm Free Flaps

Kim, Young Chul, MD; Kim, Min Ji, MD; Kim, Hyung Bae, MD; Kim, Sung Chan, MD; Choi, Jong Woo, MD, PhD

Journal of Craniofacial Surgery: June 2019 - Volume 30 - Issue 4 - p 1194–1197
doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000005281
Clinical Studies
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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: pschoi@amc.seoul.kr

Received 5 September, 2018

Accepted 27 November, 2018

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2019 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD.