Objectives: To summarize the immediate postoperative complications encountered after reconstruction of maxillary defects with free flaps.
Methods: Appropriate demographic, pathological, preoperative and postoperative data of 284 patients were collected and analyzed. The study group consisted of 146 males and 138 females (Age, 28–75 years; Mean, 43.9 years) during the period between 1999 and 2010, in the 14th ward of the Dept. of OMFS in Peking University School of Stomatology in Beijing.
Results: Of the total 284 cases operated there were 119 fibulas, 84 Radial forearms, 45 Rectus Abdominis, 26 ALTF”s, 4 lateral arm flaps, 5 medial sural artery perforator flaps, and 1 Scapula. The immediate postoperative period considered for compiling the data was 2 weeks from the day of surgery. The complications were 5 cases of Flap failure, 3 Oronasal fistula, 8 Infections, 5 wound dehiscence and hemorrhage in 3 patients.
Conclusions: The technical difficulties and complications in free flaps have hindered its acceptance in many centers. Use of free flaps for reconstructing maxillary defects has proven highly successful (98.3%) with minimal complications in the large series presented in our study. Our experience has reinforced the belief that free flaps are a reliable and dependable modality of treatment for addressing major defects of the maxilla.
Conflict of interest: None declared.