Research Article| Volume 46, ISSUE 6, P511-515, 1993

Early postoperative brachytherapy following free flap reconstruction

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      Brachytherapy delivered within the early postoperative period has been associated with delayed wound healing and wound breakdown. The objective of this study was to determine whether reconstruction with a microvascular free flap reduced the incidence of wound breakdown in the presence of early postoperative brachytherapy following wide excision of soft tissue sarcomas and head and neck carcinomas.
      Ten patients with malignant tumours underwent wide excision and free flap reconstruction. Brachytherapy was administered using Iridium-192 wires in the early postoperative period via tubes inserted intra-operatively.
      In 9 of the 10 patients the wounds healed uneventfully, demonstrating that brachytherapy can be delivered in the early postoperative period following free flap reconstruction without an increase in the frequency of wound breakdown.


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