Outcome after pharyngeal reconstruction using pectoralis major and radial forearm flap after resection of pharyngeal and laryngeal squamous cell carcinomas.
The objective of this study is to assess the outcome after pharyngeal reconstruction using pectoralis major and radial forearm flaps in pharyngeal and laryngeal carcinomas. 90 patients who underwent flap surgery due to oro/-hypopharyngeal and laryngeal carcinomas were compared with 404 patients without pharyngeal reconstruction. Differences between the groups were analyzed using the Chi-square, Fisher exact, and the unpaired student's t test. Survival rates were calculated by Kaplan-Meier. Overall survival in oropharyngeal and hypopharyngeal/laryngeal cancer showed comparable results in patients with or without pharyngeal reconstruction (5-year: 53.4 vs. 64.2 %, p = 0.23; 5-year: 51.8 vs. 62.4 %, p = 0.94), while the survival time after flap surgery was significantly decreased (5-year: 44.8 vs. 62.4 %, p< 0.02; 5-year: 30.3 vs. 64.2 %, p = 0.07). Subgroup analysis attributed the worse survival after flap surgery to patients who underwent flap surgery due to functional deficits or recurrent disease (p = 0.002). In these patients, the median survival after flap surgery was 26 (hypopharyngeal/laryngeal cancer) or 13 months (oropharyngeal cancer) and associated with a significant increase in severe complications and hospitalization time (p< 0.0001). The hospitalization time correlated with the history of prior radiotherapy and the extent of surgery (r = 0.26; r = 0.3; p< 0.0001). Flap surgery in primary oropharyngeal and hypopharyngeal/laryngeal cancer showed an unaltered overall survival when compared with patients without reconstruction. Patients with recurrent disease or functional deficits demonstrated a significant decrease in survival combined with an increase of severe complications.