Perioperative care of head and neck free flap patients

Michael R. Kinzinger, Arnaud Bewley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This article reviews the recent literature on the perioperative care of head and neck surgical patients undergoing free tissue transfer. RECENT FINDINGS: As the overall success of head and neck free flaps has plateaued above 95%, recent literature on perioperative flap management has focused on minimizing complications, length of stay, and cost of treatment. Current areas of research include preoperative risk stratification, preoperative and postoperative nutrition, intraoperative fluid management, postoperative level of care, postoperative antibiotic prophylaxis, defining the impact of comorbidities, and developing comprehensive evidence-based perioperative care protocols. SUMMARY: Rates of complications for head and neck free flap surgery remain stubbornly high. Optimization of perioperative nutrition, antibiotics, fluid management, and the establishment of structured pathways has the potential to decrease these complication rates. However, more research is needed into defining and implementing optimal comprehensive care regimens for this complex patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCurrent Opinion in Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - Jun 9 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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