Incidence of perioperative free flap compromise is low, with successful salvage in up to 70%. When the flap is compromised a second time, the value of intervening is unknown.
We assessed the outcomes of a second revascularization attempt for compromised free flaps.
This multicenter retrospective medical record review included patients undergoing head and neck reconstruction with free flaps at 6 US medical centers from January 1, 2000, through December 30, 2020. Patients were 18 years or older with a history of head and neck defects from cancer, osteoradionecrosis, or other wounds. Of 3510 flaps identified, 79 were successfully salvaged once, became compromised a second time, and underwent attempted salvage.