Measurement of blood flow and oxygen tension in adjacent tissues in pedicled and free flap head and neck reconstruction

Ayman Nabawi, Ali Gürlek, Charles W. Patrick, Ayman Amin, Edmond Ritter, Magdy Elsharaky, Gregory R.D. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to evaluate blood flow and transcutaneous partial oxygen pressure (TcPO2) in adjacent tissues to free and pedicled flaps following reconstructive procedures used in conjunction with radical surgery for head and neck cancers. Fifty patients were included. Fourteen patients had reconstruction with pedicled flaps and 36 with free flaps. For each patient, TcPO2 and laser Doppler flow measurements were taken at the center of the flap, in adjacent tissue, and in a corresponding contralateral site. Three laser Doppler measurements were performed at each site and a mean value recorded. All patients had undergone reconstruction up to 6 months prior to the time of the measurements. The collected data were analyzed using a Wilcoxon signed rank test. There were no statistically significant differences in partial oxygen tension or laser Doppler values between tissues adjacent to free compared to pedicled flaps. Although there is strong evidence to support that free flaps have improved blood flow and partial oxygen tension over pedicled flaps, further study is required to evaluate adjacent tissues. Flap choice may assist with alteration in blood flow in less favorable defects such as those in previously irradiated fields and those resulting from burn scars or chronic infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-257
Number of pages4
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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