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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes