Recipient Vessel Analysis for Microvascular Reconstruction of the Head and Neck

Maurice Y. Nahabedian, Navin Singh, E. Gene Deune, Ronald Silverman, Anthony P. Tufaro

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


The selection of recipient vessels that are suitable for microvascular anastomosis in the head and neck region is one of many components that is essential for successful free tissue transfer. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a set of factors that are related to the recipient artery and vein and to determine how these factors influence flap survival. A retrospective review of 102 patients over a 5-year consecutive period was completed. Indications for microvascular reconstruction included tumor ablation (n = 76), trauma (n = 13), and chronic wounds or facial paralysis (n = 13). The most frequently used recipient artery and vein included the facial, superficial temporal, superior thyroid, carotid, and jugular. Various factors that were related to the recipient vessels were analyzed and included patient age, recipient artery and vein, diabetes mellitus, tobacco use, the timing of reconstruction, the method of anastomosis, previous radiation therapy, creation of an arteriovenous loop, and use of an interposition vein graft. Successful free tissue transfer was obtained in 97 of 102 flaps (95%). Flap failure was the result of venous thrombosis in 4 and arterial thrombosis in 1. Statistical analysis demonstrated that anastomotic failure was associated with an arteriovenous loop (2 of 5, P = 0.03) and tobacco use (3 of 5, P = 0.03). Flap failure was not related to patient age, choice of recipient vessel, diabetes mellitus, previous irradiation, the method of arterial or venous anastomosis, use of an interposition vein graft, or the timing of reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-155
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of plastic surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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