Mechanical venous anastomosis in head and neck microvascular reconstruction as an equivalent to the gold standard | Ear, Nose & Throat Journal Skip to content Skip to navigation

Mechanical venous anastomosis in head and neck microvascular reconstruction as an equivalent to the gold standard

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February 20, 2017
by Eric Thorpe, MD; Yash Patil, MD

Abstract

To define the most successful and efficient manner to perform venous microvascular anastomoses, the effectiveness of mechanical venous anastomosis in head and neck microvascular reconstruction is reviewed. Head and neck reconstruction with free flap techniques has become the norm and gold standard for large defects. This retrospective, multicenter case series of a single microvascular surgeon's experience with mechanical venous anastomoses specifically assessed the effectiveness of head and neck reconstruction and the complications associated with it. Data were collected from two separate academic centers and are reported from a consecutive series of patients over the course of 10 years. All patients underwent microvascular reconstruction of the head and neck region using venous couplers and flap survival. Flap survival was greater than 98% using mechanical venous couplers as the primary means for venous outflow in this series of 402 consecutive patients and 431 total microvascular flaps. Venous couplers were performed in every instance. The study shows that mechanical venous anastomosis provides a highly effective and efficient means for venous outflow in head and neck microvascular reconstruction, and should be considered equivalent to the gold standard suture technique, even in the most difficult cases.

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