Reconstruction of massive defects in the head and neck: The role of simultaneous distant and regional flaps

Keith E. Blackwell, Daniel Buchbinder, Hugh F. Biller, Mark L. Urken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Background. Massive defects resulting from excision of advanced head and neck tumors may not be amenable to reconstruction using a single technique of tissue transfer. Sixteen patients undergoing reconstruction using simultaneous free flaps and pedicled regional flaps are presented. Methods. Regional flaps included the pectoralis major, delto-pectoral, cervical visor, paramedian forehead, cervicofacial, and nape of neck flaps. Microvascular tissue transfers included the radial forearm, lilac crest, parascapular/latissimus dorsi, rectus abdominis, fibula, and lateral thigh free flaps. Results. Most defects involved both aerodigestive mucosa and external cutaneous skin. Mucosal reconstruction was carried out using the soft-tissue component of the free flaps, whereas vascularized bone was used for mandibular reconstruction. Regional flaps were used to reconstruct skin of the face and neck. Conclusions. When planned and applied in a stepwise fashion, simultaneous free flaps and regional flaps are complimentary for the reconstruction of complex wounds in the head and neck.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)620-628
Number of pages9
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1997


  • Free flap
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Head and neck surgery
  • Reconstructive surgery
  • Regional flap


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