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Postoperative radiotherapy delay in head and neck cancer patients undergoing major resection and free flap reconstruction

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Chang Lee, Dr Charles Kelly, Mani Ragbir, Daniel Saleh


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© 2022 Elsevier Ltd. Background: Delays to postoperative radiotherapy (PORT) are frequent and associated with poorer oncologic outcomes in head and neck cancer (HNC) patients. Free flap patients have been suggested as the most at-risk group. Thus, PORT delivery experienced by HNC patients who required a free flap reconstruction was analysed, identifying reasons for the delays if any. Methods: A retrospective analysis of a single tertiary unit's PORT delivery to HNC patients undergoing major resection followed by free flap reconstruction between 2017 and 2020. Results: Eighty-seven patients were identified. Thirty-two patients received PORT within 6 weeks of their surgery date. Reasons for the delays could be categorised into surgery-derived, system-derived and patient-derived reasons. Five patients (5.74%) received PORT >6 weeks after their surgery due to surgical complications. No patients experienced surgical complications during their PORT. Conclusion: In our experience, surgical aspects of free flap reconstructions do not appear to overtly delay or interrupt PORT.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lee CW, Dupre S, Marlborough F, Iqbal MS, Kelly C, Bashir MA, Ahmed OA, Ragbir M, Saleh DB

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery

Year: 2022

Volume: 75

Issue: 7

Pages: 2084-2089

Print publication date: 01/07/2022

Online publication date: 26/02/2022

Acceptance date: 15/02/2022

ISSN (print): 1748-6815

ISSN (electronic): 1878-0539

Publisher: Churchill Livingstone


DOI: 10.1016/j.bjps.2022.02.038

PubMed id: 35351393


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