Flap Reconstruction Results in Longer Overall Treatment Time in Patients Treated with Surgery and Adjuvant Radiotherapy for Carcinoma of the Oral Cavity and Larynx

March, 03, 2024 | Select Oncology Journal Articles


There is an inverse relationship between cancer cure and overall treatment time (OTT) in patients treated with surgical resection and radiotherapy (RT).


OTT was evaluated based on the reconstruction procedure in 420 patients with oral cavity and larynx cancers treated with surgery and RT between 1991 and 2020.


With OTT >85 days, the difference between no versus yes flap reconstruction was ~20 percentage points and significant for all comparisons: primary closure (+/− skin graft), 49%, vs. rotation or free flap, 71% (P<0.0001); primary closure (+/− skin graft), 49%, versus free flap without bone, 66% (P=0.0358); and primary closure (+/− skin graft), 49%, versus free flap with bone, 82% (P<0.0001).


The use of flap reconstructions results in substantial increases in OTT. Findings suggest a need to reevaluate current policies regarding the choice of reconstruction and starting RT sooner after surgery.

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