Conclusion: The hemilaryngeal flap is a technique for hypopharyngeal reconstruction with the use of adjacent uninvolved tissue. The technique's advantages are that it is technically simpler than other surgical techniques for hypopharyngeal reconstruction, and involves no donor site morbidity. Its disadvantages are that it only can be employed in tumors which are confined to one side of the hemilarynx, and also there is always potential for skip lesions and incomplete resection.
Objective: To determine the indications, oncologic considerations, complication rate and survival of the surgical technique.
Materials and methods: A meta-analysis of the available literature using the Medline database.
Results: There are 86 reported cases. The surgical technique was used only when one side of the hypopharynx was spared. Pharyngocutaneous fistulae developed in 16 patients (19%) and 2 patients developed pharyngeal stenosis. The technique was employed with advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the hypopharynx and the survival rates are similar to those reported when other reconstruction techniques are used.