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Major head and neck reconstruction using the deltopectoral flap:A 20 year experience

The American Journal of Surgery
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0002-9610(86)90318-1


Abstract Six hundred seventy-eight deltopectoral flaps were raised in 604 patients, 125 of which were delayed and 215 of which were used in previously irradiated beds. The rate of major flap necrosis was 16.9 percent and the overall rate of complications, 51.4 percent. Delay in creating the deltopectoral flap had no influence on the risk of complications and necrosis, whereas the use of the flap in a previously irradiated bed was associated with a significantly increased risk of major flap necrosis. The least flap loss occurred when the deltopectoral flap was used without tubulation for skin coverage only. Complications and flap necrosis occurred most frequently when flaps were tubulated in a reversed manner or used for lining of major portions of or for total oropharyngeal and hypopharyngeal reconstruction. The deltopectoral flap remains a useful, reliable, and versatile regional flap that can be used alone or in combination with other flaps in selected circumstances for major head and neck reconstruction.

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