Abstract

We conducted a retrospective review to assess the role of the temporoparietalis fascia flap (TPFF), comparing rates of postoperative pharyngocutaneous fistula (PCF) and functional outcomes with those of pectoralis major myocutaneous flap (PMMF) and primary closure of the pharynx, in a population of patients treated with salvage total laryngectomy (STL). Patients were divided in three groups depending on the pharynx reconstruction technique after primary closure: no vascularised tissue augmentation (group 1), PMMF patch (group 2), or TPFF patch (group 3). The main outcomes analysed were overall fistula rate, fistula requiring reoperation and speech and swallowing function at 6 months. Factors influencing the incidence of fistulas were also evaluated. 39 patients respected inclusion criteria: 14, 11 and 14 patients in the three groups, respectively. Nine patients of 39 (23.1%) experienced a PCF. No statistically significant differences were noted between the three groups, except for a longer surgical operation time and a trend for better functional results in group 3. None of the factors analysed significantly influenced the overall rate of fistula. TPFF patch thus represents a reliable alternative to PMMF in preventing PCF in the setting of STL, with minor donor-site morbidity and good functional outcomes.