OBJECTIVE - To investigate the association between perioperative patient characteristics and treatment modalities (eg, vasopressor use and volume of fluid administration) with complications and failure rates in patients undergoing head and neck free tissue transfer (FTT).
STUDY DESIGN - A retrospective review of medical records.
SETTING - Perioperative hospitalization for head and neck FTT at 1 tertiary care medical center between January 1, 2009, and October 31, 2011.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS - Consecutive patients (N=235) who underwent head and neck FTT. Demographic, patient characteristic, and intraoperative data were extracted from medical records. Complication and failure rates within the first 30 days were collected
RESULTS - In a multivariate analysis controlling for age, sex, ethnicity, reason for receiving flap, and type and volume of fluid given, perioperative complication was significantly associated with surgical blood loss (P=.019; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01-1.16), while the rate of intraoperative fluid administration did not reach statistical significance (P=.06; 95% CI, 0.99-1.28). In a univariate analysis, FTT failure was significantly associated with reason for surgery (odds ratio, 5.40; P=.03; 95% CI, 1.69-17.3) and preoperative diagnosis of coronary artery disease (odds ratio, 3.60; P=.03; 95% CI, 1.16-11.2). Intraoperative vasopressor administration was not associated with either FTT complication or failure rate.
CONCLUSIONS - FTT complications were associated with surgical blood loss but not the use of vasoactive drugs. For patients undergoing FTT, judicious monitoring of blood loss may help stratify the risk of complication and failure.
© American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery Foundation 2014.