Presented at the Meeting of the Western Section of the American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc., Carlsbad, California, January 6, 2001.
Reconstruction of Pharyngeal Defects Using AlloDerm and Sternocleidomastoid Muscle Flap†
Article first published online: 2 JAN 2009
Copyright © 2001 The Triological Society
Volume 111, Issue 11, pages 1910–1916, November 2001
How to Cite
Sinha, U. K., Chang, K. E. and Shih, C. W. (2001), Reconstruction of Pharyngeal Defects Using AlloDerm and Sternocleidomastoid Muscle Flap. The Laryngoscope, 111: 1910–1916. doi: 10.1097/00005537-200111000-00007
- Issue published online: 2 JAN 2009
- Article first published online: 2 JAN 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 25 JUN 2001
Objective To report our experience in reconstructing pharyngeal defects that cannot be closed primarily, using acellular dermal matrix (AlloDerm, LifeCell Corp., Branchburg, NJ) and sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle flap.
Study Design Prospective, nonrandomized, nonblinded study in the setting of an academic tertiary care medical center.
Methods Fourteen patients underwent reconstruction of through-and-through defects of partial pharyngectomy for squamous cell carcinoma using AlloDerm graft. Primary closure of the defects was not possible because of substantial loss of pharyngeal tissue. The graft was reinforced with superiorly based SCM muscle flap in 10 patients. The remaining four patients did not receive any flap. Eleven lesions involved the lateral pharyngeal wall, and three were piriform sinus lesions. Patients were followed for a period ranging from 3 to 20 months. Outcome measures were determined on several parameters including graft take rate, evidence of graft contracture, postoperative complications, resumption of diet, intelligibility of speech, and decannulation. All patients were evaluated by a speech pathologist by means of a bedside swallowing examination. Five patients had videofluoroscopic studies. The three patients with piriform sinus lesions underwent videostroboscopic examination to assess vocal cord function.
Results There was a high success rate for graft take. Two patients developed postoperative fistulas that resolved with conservative management . One of the 10 patients with SCM flap and one of the 4 patients without SCM flap developed fistulas. Clinically significant graft contracture or pharyngeal stenosis was not observed in any patients. All patients resumed oral intake. Ten patients resumed a normal diet, two tolerated a soft diet, and two could take purees. Decannulation was successful in all patients. Two of the three patients with piriform sinus lesions had vocal cord palsies after surgery resulting in breathy dysphonia. They underwent type I thyroplasty for vocal rehabilitation. All patients had intelligible speech.
Conclusions Thick AlloDerm, reinforced with SCM muscle or cervical soft tissue, provides a useful alternative option for reconstruction of pharyngeal defects that cannot be closed primarily. It is safe and effective and provides excellent functional outcomes.