Background: Immunotherapy agents are used to treat advanced head and neck lesions. We aim to elucidate relationship between immunotherapy and surgical wound complications.
Methods: Retrospective multi-institutional case series evaluating patients undergoing ablative and flap reconstructive surgery and immunotherapy treatment.
Main outcome: wound complications.
Results: Eight-two (62%) patients received preoperative therapy, 89 (67%) postoperative, and 33 (25%) in both settings. Forty-one (31%) patients had recipient site complications, 12 (9%) had donor site. Nineteen (14%) had major recipient site complications, 22 (17%) had minor. There was no statistically significant difference in complications based on patient or tumor-specific variables. Preoperative therapy alone demonstrated increased major complications (odds ratio [OR] 3.7, p = 0.04), and trend to more donor site complications (OR 7.4, p = 0.06), however treatment in both preoperative and postoperative therapy was not.
Conclusions: Preoperative immunotherapy may be associated with increased wound complications. Controlled studies are necessary to delineate this association and potential risks of therapy.
Keywords: free flap reconstruction; head and neck cancer; immunotherapy; wound complications.
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