Reconstruction of the hypopharynx: Current trends

Jeremy D. Richmon, Kevin T. Brumund

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Reconstruction of the hypopharynx continues to present a clinical challenge for the reconstructive surgeon. Trends continue to evolve as many viable options exist, depending on individual patient characteristics and institutional preferences. The article reviews the most current literature available on the subject. RECENT FINDINGS: Surgical resections resulting in pharyngoesophageal defects require timely reconstruction to minimize patient morbidity while optimizing quality of life, specifically in regards to speech and swallowing. Contemporary reconstructive options include various gastrointestinal flaps, pedicled myocutaneous flaps, and fasciocutaneous free flaps. Institutional trends often depend on the availability, training, and expertise of the reconstructive surgeon. The current options available differ in their complication rate and overall morbidity, and must take into account each patient's general medical health. Increased availability of surgeons trained in microvascular reconstruction and the continued high published success rates have made free flaps an attractive option for hypopharyngeal reconstruction. Functional outcome regarding swallowing and speech rehabilitation after free flap reconstruction is promising. SUMMARY: With continued publication of overall high success rates coupled with superior functional outcome and increased availability of surgeons trained in microvascular reconstruction, fasciocutaneous free flap reconstruction of the hypopharynx will probably surpass intestinal flaps in reliability and popularity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-212
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Head and neck reconstruction
  • Hypopharyngectomy
  • Hypopharynx
  • Microvascular free flaps
  • Pharyngolaryngectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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