Secondary reconstructive operations are needed when patients with head and neck cancers have complications, tumor recurrence after initial treatment and modification of the function or appearance. The condition of an operative field for a second or subsequent operation has often been altered because of the effects of an earlier operation or chemoradiotherapy. In particular, the rate of microsurgical complications associated with the transfer of free flaps is higher for second reconstructions because good recipient vessels in the head and neck region are more difficult to find.
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Published online: February 29, 2012
Received: September 30, 2011
Published by Elsevier Inc.