Jejunum free flap in hypopharynx reconstruction: case series.

Marco Benazzo, Antonio Occhini, Vanessa Rossi, Giuseppe Aresi, Mario Alessiani

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BACKGROUND: Surgical treatment of hypopharyngeal cancers with extension to the retrocricoid region generally requires a circumferential pharyngolaryngectomy followed by a reconstruction of the removed segment of the upper digestive tract. Historically, many techniques have been used in order to achieve a safe and functional reconstruction. Jejunum interposition is generally considered the best reconstructive technique. METHODS: This study examines the details of the surgical technique, the complications, the oncological and the functional results in a series of 29 consecutive patients submitted to circumferential pharyngoesophageal resection for advanced hypopharyngeal cancer followed by reconstruction with a free flap of jejunum. RESULTS: Three of the transplants failed because of venous thrombosis. The overall success rate was 90%. There were no general complications. A good swallowing has been preserved in all our patients. All our patients where a phonatory prosthesis was positioned (20/29) were able to achieve speech following speech therapy and all were satisfied with their own capacity to communicate. CONCLUSIONS: The prognosis of hypopharyngeal tumours (18-40% at 5 years) remains poor, but jejunum autografts are being shown to be an excellent choice for the reconstruction of the cervical hypopharyngo-oesophagus offering the patient fast rehabilitation and a reasonable quality of survival. Our experience confirm that this kind of reconstruction is safe with a good results in improving oncologic controls and restoring a good quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13
Number of pages1
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 10 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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