The safety and success of microvascular transfer have been well documented in the general population, but the good results achieved with the use of free flaps in elderly patients have received little attention. This study sought to identify differences in complications, morbidity and functional outcomes between elderly (≥ 75 years) and younger (< 75 years) patients treated surgically for advanced head and neck cancer using the Head and Neck 35 module of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer quality of life questionnaire. Patient treatment consisted of composite resection, including excision of the primary tumour with ipsilateral or bilateral neck dissection and microvascular reconstruction. Eighty-five microvascular tissue transfers were performed to reconstruct major surgical defects. Postoperative radiation therapy was performed when indicated. Total flap loss occurred in three cases in elderly patients and two cases in younger patients. The rates of major surgical complication were 9% in young patients and 11% in elderly patients. No significant difference was observed between the two groups in the rates of major and minor flap complications, morbidity or long-term functional outcome. The results of the present analysis indicate that free-flap microvascular reconstruction can be considered a safe procedure in elderly patients with head and neck cancer.

HEAD AND NECK CANCER IN ELDERLY PATIENTS: IS MICROSURGICAL FREE-TISSUE TRANSFER A SAFE PROCEDURE?

TARSITANO, ACHILLE;PIZZIGALLO, ANGELO;SGARZANI, ROSSELLA;CIPRIANI, RICCARDO;MARCHETTI, CLAUDIO
2012

Abstract

The safety and success of microvascular transfer have been well documented in the general population, but the good results achieved with the use of free flaps in elderly patients have received little attention. This study sought to identify differences in complications, morbidity and functional outcomes between elderly (≥ 75 years) and younger (< 75 years) patients treated surgically for advanced head and neck cancer using the Head and Neck 35 module of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer quality of life questionnaire. Patient treatment consisted of composite resection, including excision of the primary tumour with ipsilateral or bilateral neck dissection and microvascular reconstruction. Eighty-five microvascular tissue transfers were performed to reconstruct major surgical defects. Postoperative radiation therapy was performed when indicated. Total flap loss occurred in three cases in elderly patients and two cases in younger patients. The rates of major surgical complication were 9% in young patients and 11% in elderly patients. No significant difference was observed between the two groups in the rates of major and minor flap complications, morbidity or long-term functional outcome. The results of the present analysis indicate that free-flap microvascular reconstruction can be considered a safe procedure in elderly patients with head and neck cancer.
Tarsitano A.; Pizzigallo A.; Sgarzani R.; Oranges C.M.; Cipriani R.; Marchetti C.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/133077
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