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Reconstruction of a Pharyngeal Cutaneous Fistula Using a Bi-Paddled Pectoralis Major Flap for a Patient with a Possibility of Future Postoperative Radiotherapy

Daiki Morita, Hitoshi Nemoto, Masaru Miyamoto, Kenta Miyabe, Tomoichiro Togo, Sei Kobayashi

(Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Showa University Fujigaoka Hospital, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan)

Am J Case Rep 2020; 21:e926689

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.926689


BACKGROUND: Pharyngocutaneous fistulas are often difficult to treat because pharyngeal contents tend to leak into the cervical layer causing wound infections or abscesses. If reconstruction with free flaps is difficult, pedicled pectoralis major flaps are an option.
CASE REPORT: A 51-year-old male patient who had undergone radiation and chemotherapy for laryngeal cancer was scheduled for total laryngectomy with combined skin resection for local tumor recurrence. Reconstruction with a left deltopectoral (DP) flap was performed. However, a pharyngocutaneous fistula constructed due to cervical soft-tissue infection required reconstruction using a right bi-paddled pectoralis major muscle. The anterior pharyngeal wall was reconstructed with the medial skin island, and the lateral skin island was folded back to reconstruct the soft tissues.
Since this was the patient’s third recurrence, the possibility of subsequent local recurrences, and hence of the need for radiation therapy, were high. In such cases, the pedicle of the pectoralis major muscle flap is normally closed using a DP flap. However, in the present case, the DP flap had already been used on both sides. We therefore utilized a right bi-paddled pectoralis major flap for cervical reconstruction.
CONCLUSIONS: We successfully reconstructed the cervical skin and soft tissue thickly, and primarily-closed the donor site, by creating a second skin island from surplus areas of the existing skin island. This method is particularly useful for the reconstruction of cervical skin and soft tissues due to the possible need for future radiation therapy, when the use of free flaps and DP flap is unfeasible.

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