OBJECTIVE: Preoperative radiation therapy is considered a significant factor in head and neck reconstruction. STUDY AND DESIGN AND SETTING: In our consecutive series of 114 patients, 44 patients had prior head and neck irradiation. The 2 groups were compared on the basis of age, ischemic time, and flap size and were found not to be statistically different. The average ischemic time for the irradiated group was 94.1 minutes, and the average was 102.8 minutes for the nonirradiated group. The average flap size for the irradiated group was 69.5 cm 2 and was 72.0 cm 2 for the nonirradiated group. RESULTS: Using a single-factor analysis of variance, the 2 groups did not differ statistically. The overall major flap complication rate for both irradiated and nonirradiated groups was approximately 10%. CONCLUSION: Microvascular reconstruction was accomplished in both irradiated and nonirradiated head and neck patients, with a 99% total flap survival rate and a 10% major flap complication rate.
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