Purpose: To describe the use of the cephalic vein as a recipient vessel for venous outflow in head and neck reconstruction. The cephalic vein is used as a vessel in cases where there is a paucity of veins in the neck. This may be due to previous surgery, previous radiation therapy, or advanced cancer. The cephalic vein may also be used to salvage a failing free flap.
Methods: It is a retrospective review of 230 free flaps that had been used in head and neck reconstruction performed from July 2014 to July 2018 by a single surgeon.
Results: There were 6 patients in whom the cephalic vein was used as a recipient vessel. The cephalic vein was used in 2 cases where a tumor was involved with the internal jugular vein, in 1 case where a previous neck dissection had been done, in 1 case where internal jugular vein had iatrogenic damage, and in 2 cases a salvage procedure was done. In all cases, the cephalic vein was rotated above the clavicle. The cephalic vein easily reached the free flap vein and had a good caliber. There were no failures in any of the patients.
Conclusion: The cephalic vein is a good option for venous anastomoses in patients in whom there is a paucity of recipient vessels in the neck.
Rehman, M. F.,
Ahsan, M. A.,
Shaikh, S. A.,
Khan, M. U.,
(2020). Use of cephalic vein for venous anastomosis in head and neck reconstruction: A case series. Eplasty, 20, e9.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_surg_surg/853