Aesthetic and psychosocial outcomes after microvascular reconstruction for head and neck cancer

JAMA Otolaryngology—Head & Neck SurgeryZebolsky AL, Patel N, Heaton CM, et al. | July 26, 2021

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This study was undertaken to explore the risk factors for impaired long-term aesthetic satisfaction and appearance-related psychosocial functioning after head and neck cancer (HNC) ablation with microvascular free tissue transfer (MFTT). Researchers performed a cross-sectional, web-based survey at an academic tertiary care center. The study enrolled a total of 228 individuals who had undergone MFTT between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2019, for treatment of HNC between November 1, 2020, through January 15, 2021. Results imply that osteocutaneous reconstruction and adjuvant therapy independently increase the risk of poor patient-reported long-term aesthetic satisfaction, which correlates with impaired appearance-related psychosocial functioning in this cross-sectional, web-based survey. Aesthetic results seem to be a priority to address in patients with HNC undergoing MFTT.

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