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Keywords:

  • circular mechanical stapler;
  • jejunal free flap;
  • total laryngopharyngectomy

Abstract

Background

The aim of this study was to demonstrate the technical feasibility and potential benefits of using a circular mechanical stapler with free jejunal transfer for jejunoesophageal anastomosis in total laryngopharyngectomy reconstruction while comparing the rates of fistula and stricture.

Methods

This study was a retrospective review of 12 free jejunal flaps completed with circular mechanical stapler for the jejunoesophageal anastomosis with comparison to 17 jejunal free flaps where all anastomoses were hand sewn.

Results

In all, 29 patients underwent free jejunal transfer: 12 had jejunal free flap with circular mechanical stapler for jejunoesophageal anastomosis, whereas 17 patients had hand-sewn anastomosis. Corresponding rates of fistula and stricture were 0/12 fistulas and 3/12 strictures in the stapler cohort and 2/17 fistulas with 0/17 strictures in the hand-sewn cohort. No statistically significant difference in rate of fistula was observed between each cohort, whereas a trend toward increased rate of stricture (p = .06) was observed in the stapled anastomosis cohort.

Conclusions

Use of circular mechanical stapler appears to be a safe and effective technique at the jejunoesophageal anastomosis for total laryngopharyngeal defects with comparable fistula and stricture rates to grafts that are hand sewn. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2012