Outcomes of microvascular free tissue transfer in twice-irradiated patients

Kate Clancy, Sami Melki, Musaddiq Awan, Shawn Li, Pierre Lavertu, Nicole Fowler, Min Yao, Rod Rezaee, Chad A. Zender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Patients may require microvascular free tissue transfer (MFTT) following re-irradiation for recurrent cancer or radiation complications. The objective of this study was to describe the indications for and outcomes of free flaps performed in twice-radiated patients. Methods: A retrospective chart review identified the indications for and outcomes of 36 free flaps performed on 29 twice-irradiated patients. Results: The free flap success rate was 92%. The most common indications requiring MFTT were cancer recurrence and osteoradionecrosis. Sixty-one percent experienced postoperative complications, most commonly wound infection (33%). Twenty-five percent of the procedures required return to the operating room due to postoperative complication. Conclusions: MFTT can be successfully performed in the twice-irradiated patient population with a success rate comparable to singly-radiated patients. Despite a high success rate, there is also a high rate of surgical site complications, especially infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)574-580
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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