Reconstruction of partial hypopharyngeal defects following total laryngectomy: Pectoralis major myofascial versus myocutaneous flaps

Anthony M Tonsbeek*, Caroline A Hundepool, Liron S Duraku, Aniel Sewnaik, Marc A M Mureau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: To date, few comparative studies exist for partial hypopharyngeal defect reconstruction following total laryngectomy. In the absence of objective evidence from comparative studies, the ideal flap choice remains controversial, leading to heterogeneity in institutional treatment protocols. Comparative studies between different reconstructive techniques are required. Therefore, this study compared postoperative outcomes of pectoralis major myocutaneous (PMMC) and myofascial (PMMF) flaps.

METHODS: A single-center retrospective cohort study was performed between 2000 and 2022, which included all consecutive patients who underwent a PMMC or PMMF flap reconstruction following total laryngectomy and partial hypopharyngectomy. Primary outcomes were suture line leakages (conservative management), fistulas (surgical management), and strictures. Secondary outcomes included flap failure, donor-site morbidity, and the start of oral intake.

RESULTS: In total, 122 patients were included (109 PMMC and 13 PMMF flap reconstructions). The incidence of suture line leakage was significantly higher (p = 0.007) after PMMC flaps (57%) compared with PMMF flaps (15%). Between PMMC and PMMF flaps, fistula (19% vs. 0%) and stricture rates (22% vs. 15%) did not differ significantly. No differences in flap failure, donor-site morbidity, or start of oral intake were observed.

CONCLUSIONS: PMMF flaps have inherent advantages (e.g., reduced bulk, increased pliability) over conventional PMMC flaps and have non-inferior results compared to the latter in terms of postoperative complications. Although the final choice for reconstruction should be patient-tailored, a PMMF flap can be considered a reliable primary choice that is feasible in most patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-54
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023 British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Dive into the research topics of 'Reconstruction of partial hypopharyngeal defects following total laryngectomy: Pectoralis major myofascial versus myocutaneous flaps'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this