Objective: Microvascular free tissue reconstruction (MFTR) is an established technique in re-instating tissue following ablative head and neck surgery. It is widely practised in many European, American and Asian centres. Very few, if any centre in Africa performs routine MFTR and no head and neck MFTR (HN-MFTR) is routinely performed in Nigeria. The objective was to report our experience in a start-up HN-MFTR in a developing environment.
Method: The clinical data of 10 consecutive patients who underwent HN-MFTR over a 6 month start-up period were reviewed.
Results: The group included 6 males and 4 females, with 10 MFTR. 33% (2/6) flap success rate was recorded in the first 6 consecutive MFTR and an overall flap success rate of 60% (6/10) was recorded. 4 flap failures were recorded, with 2 (20%) due to thrombotic events, and 2 (20%) due to infection. 40% (4/10) complication rate from donor site were recorded. The very high failure rates were adduced to reasons similar to those reported. However, some peculiar complications: high rate of infection, non-accustom working environment, and single team approach were experienced.
Conclusion: We concluded that HN-MFTR in a developing environment might throw up additional, peculiarities that have to be overcome for our HN-MFTR success rate to be comparable.