A Comprehensive Analysis of Complications of Free Flaps for Oromandibular Reconstruction

Amit Walia, Joshua Mendoza, Craig A. Bollig, Ethan J. Craig, Ryan S. Jackson, Jason T. Rich, Sidharth V. Puram, Sean T. Massa, Patrik Pipkorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis: To determine the frequency and management of short- and long-term complications related to oromandibular free flap reconstruction and identify potentially predictive factors of hardware complications. Study Design: Retrospective chart review. Methods: A retrospective database from chart review was formed consisting of 266 oromandibular free flap reconstructions performed at a single institution over a 15-year period. Data were collected on demographics, surgical treatment, complications, and management of complications. Subgroup univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to compare patients with hardware complications and those without. Results: Eighty-one of 266 patients (30.5%) that underwent oromandibular reconstruction had an early complication (<4 weeks after surgery), and the most common complications were cervical wound dehiscence (11.3%) and fistulas (9.40%). Eighty of 266 patients (30.1%) had a long-term complication (>4 weeks after surgery) and the most common complication was plate exposure (26.7%). Univariate and multivariate analyses showed no association between whether there was hardware extrusion and fibula versus scapula, smoking history, virtual surgical planning (VSP), and dental implantation (P >.05). Only early complications (OR, 3.59, 95% CI, 1.83–7.05, P <.01) and patients undergoing oromandibular reconstruction for osteoradionecrosis (OR, 2.26, 95% CI, 1.10–4.64, P =.03) were strongly and independently associated with subsequent hardware extrusion on univariate analysis. Conclusions: Both short- and long-term complications are common after oromandibular reconstruction. The most important predictive factor for a late complication is an early complication and prior radiation. There was no difference of plate complications among the various free flap types. Dental implantation and use of VSP were not associated with hardware complications. Level of Evidence: 4 Laryngoscope, 131:1997–2005, 2021.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1997-2005
Number of pages9
JournalLaryngoscope
Volume131
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Oromandibular reconstruction
  • fibula
  • free tissue transfer
  • plate complications
  • scapula

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