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Invited Commentary
August 2018

Multiple-Flap Reconstruction of Head and Neck Defects

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2018;144(8):753-754. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2018.0864

The goals of head and neck reconstruction of cancer-related defects are to restore speech, swallowing, and cosmesis and maximize patient quality of life. During the past 2 decades, our ability to achieve these goals with free, pedicled, and local tissue transfer alone or in combination has steadily improved. The reconstructive surgeon now has a robust armamentarium with an array of tissue choices, including bone, muscle, viscera, skin (thick, thin, hair bearing, and color match to facial skin). In addition, there has been an expansion of recipient vessels, which allows an increased range of options for patients in whom prior therapy has failed and who present for head and neck reconstruction. These advances have changed the way that we think about the various components of the head and neck and increased the number of creative choices to restore form and function and minimize morbidity.

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