Reconstruction of expanding tracheoesophageal fistulae in post-radiation therapy patients who undergo total laryngectomy with a bipaddled radial forearm free flap: Report of 8 cases

Eliza H. Dewey, Jerry R. Castro, Jacqueline Mojica, Cathy L. Lazarus, Henry K. Su, Erin H. Alpert, Laura L. Dos Reis, Mark L. Urken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Our surgical approach describes a bipaddled radial forearm free flap (RFFF) for closure of chronic tracheoesophageal fistulae (TEF) in patients who underwent total laryngectomy. The desired functional results were achieved. Methods Eight patients underwent the procedure. The surgical approach includes exposure and resection of the fistula tract, and a bipaddled RFFF transfer. Key surgical maneuvers include: circumferential dissection and mobilization of the trachea; partial sternal resection in select cases; inset of flap's distal paddle into the anterior esophageal wall; and inset of the proximal skin paddle to the posterior tracheal wall and cervical skin. Results Successful reconstruction of all 8 cases was done to restore a normal diet and a widely patent tracheal opening. One patient developed a delayed esophageal stricture, which was successfully managed with home dilation. Conclusion Several TEF treatment approaches have been reported. Our 87.5% esophageal lumen preservation success rate, reestablishment of adequate airway, and uncomplicated postoperative courses demonstrates the reliability of this surgical approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E172-E178
JournalHead and Neck
Volume38
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • bipaddled radial forearm free flap (RFFF) procedure
  • closure of tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF)
  • post-total laryngectomy
  • post-total pharyngolaryngectomy
  • tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF)
  • tracheoesophageal puncture (TEP)

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