Acellular dermal graft pharyngeal repair augmentation after laryngectomy

Patrik Pipkorn, Parul Sinha, Joseph Zenga, Evan Graboyes, Bruce H. Haughey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose Pharyngocutaneous fistula (PCF) after laryngectomy continues to be a serious complication, especially after radiation. Recruitment of non-radiated tissue into the surgical defect may decrease the risk of fistula. These techniques however have significant morbidity and increases operative time. We hypothesized that using acellular dermal graft to reinforce the pharyngeal closure could decrease the risk of fistula, without the added morbidity of a vascularized flap. Methods We performed a retrospective chart review of all patients that underwent a laryngectomy between 2005 and 2015 at an acedemic tertiary referral center. Patients who underwent primary pharyngeal closure with Alloderm® reinforcement without any other flap reconstruction were identified. Basic demographics, previous treatment, operative technique and fistula were extracted from the medical records. The primary outcome was PCF rate. The time to closure, margin status and disease recurrence was also evaluated. Results Among 16 patients with AlloDerm® augmentation, eight had primary laryngectomy and eight had salvage laryngectomy. A total of three in the salvage laryngectomy with prior history of radiation developed PCF. The fistula closed in all three cases with conservative treatment. There was no PCF in the primary laryngectomy group without prior history of radiation. Conclusion The rate of PCF among the salvage laryngectomy group with previous radiation did not differ from historical data. AlloDerm® can however, provide a simple alternative for repair in radiation patients where flap cannot be performed for pharyngeal reconstruction. In non-radiated patients, AlloDerm® augmentation may have a protective effect on fistula formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-332
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2017


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