Does microvascular free flap reconstruction in oral squamous cell carcinoma improve patient survival?

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2008 Dec;139(6):775-80. doi: 10.1016/j.otohns.2008.08.019.


Objective: We analyzed our experiences with microvascular reconstruction after oncologic resections for oral squamous cell carcinoma. Has microvascular surgery changed the survival rate of these patients?

Design: Retrospective study.

Subjects and methods: Forty-two consecutive patients enrolled from March 1999 to December 2004. Follow-up time ranged from 1 to 94 months. Survival rates were evaluated by the Kaplan-Meier method and compared among different groups with the use of Cox regression.

Results: The actuarial 5-year survival rate was 41.9% (SD = 9.6%). Survival rates were also analyzed according to T, N, and stage. The survival was significantly related only to N, which showed a 72.4% increase in the risk related to the increase of one N stage.

Conclusions: A comparison between our study group and those of 3 previous similar studies would not provide definitive statistical evidence, but it could certainly suggest a trend. The comparison seems to support that microvascular free tissue transfer does not change the survival of these patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Oral Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / methods*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Flaps / blood supply*
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome