The effects of radiation therapy in microvascular anastomoses

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Abstract

The otolaryngologist, as a head and neck surgeon, commonly cares for patients with upper aerodigestive tract malignancies. Therapy of these neoplasms often requires wide excision. One standard reconstructive procedure utilizes pedicled regional flaps, both dermal and myodermal which have some disadvantages. The shortcomings of these pedicled regional flaps have led to the use of the vascularized free flap in certain cases. The occasional case may lead to catastrophe if microanastomoses fail when combined with radiation. Notwithstanding, many surgical series have reported success when radiation has been given. The present investigation was undertaken to assess the effects of radiation therapy on microvascular anastomoses when radiation is administered pre- or postoperatively or when nonradiated tissue is transferred to an irradiated recipient site. These effects were observed serially in an experimental rat model using a tubed superficial epigastric flap that adequately reflected tissue viability and vascular patency. The histologic changes were then noted over a three month period after completion of both radiation and surgery. This study adds credence to the observation of the lack of deleterious effects of radiation on experimental microvascular anastomotic patency whether the radiation is given before or after surgery or if radiated tissue is approximated to nonradiated vessels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-33
Number of pages33
JournalLaryngoscope
Volume95
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1985
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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