Analytic review of 2372 free flap transfers for head and neck reconstruction following cancer resection

Takashi Nakatsuka, Kiyonori Harii, Hirotaka Asato, Akihiko Takushima, Satoshi Ebihara, Yoshihiro Kimata, Atsushi Yamada, Kazuki Ueda, Shigeru Ichioka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Citations (Scopus)


Microvascular free tissue transfer has gained world-wide acceptance as a means of reconstructing post-oncologic surgical defects in the head and neck region. Since 1977, the authors have introduced this reconstructive procedure to head and neck reconstruction after cancer ablation, and a total of 2372 free flaps were transferred in 2301 patients during a period of over 23 years. The most frequently used flap was the rectus abdominis flap (784 flaps: 33.1 percent), followed by the jejunum (644 flaps: 27.2 percent) and the forearm flap (384 flaps: 16.2 percent). In the reported series, total and partial flap necrosis accounted for 4.2 percent and 2.5 percent of cases, respectively. There was a significant statistical difference (p < 0.05) in complete flap survival rate between immediate and secondary reconstruction cases. The authors believe that the above-mentioned three flaps have been a major part of the armamentarium for head and neck reconstruction because of a lower rate of flap necrosis, compared to other flaps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-368
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Reconstructive Microsurgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Complications
  • Free flaps
  • Head and neck reconstruction
  • Post-oncologic defects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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