Comparing Free-Flap Reconstruction After Robot-Assisted Neck Dissection via a Retroauricular Approach and a Traditional Transcervical Approach: Single-Surgeon Experiences of 90 Consecutive Cases

Hyounmin Kim, In ho Cha, Hyung Jun Kim, Woong Nam, Hyunwoo Yang, Sung uk Cho, Yoon Woo Koh, Dongwook Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Predominant traditional approaches for most patients who have advanced-stage oral cancer with transcervical incision lines left irreversible scars. To address this, surgeons have continuously refined minimally invasive surgery (MIS) techniques, including robot-assisted neck surgeries. This article introduces and discusses the feasibility, versatility, and availability of free-flap reconstruction via the retroauricular approach (RA), considered difficult to date. Methods: This study retrospectively analyzed 90 consecutive patients who had free-flap reconstruction performed by a single surgeon (D.K.) in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Yonsei University, from March 2021 to April 2022. The type of defects and flaps, hospitalization days, total operation time, and type of vessels and anastomoses were compared statistically. Results: The type of vessels used did not differ between the RA and the transcervical approach (TA) groups, nor in duration of hospital stays. Likewise, the total reconstruction time did not differ significantly between the TA group (240 min) and the RA group (245 min) (p = 0.756). However, the total operation time was about 1 h less in the TA group, a statistically significant difference (TA group [593 ± 152 min] vs. RA group [655 ± 117 min]; p = 0.044). All flaps were successful in the RA group, whereas one flap in the TA group led to a total loss (TA group [98.3%] vs. RA group [100.0%]; p = 1.000). Conclusions: Even for patients with advanced oral cancer who require massive tumor ablation, it is feasible to obtain an aesthetic and functional surgical outcome by performing free-flap reconstruction via the retroauricular approach.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of surgical oncology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, Society of Surgical Oncology.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Oncology

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