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.
Publication ( Name of Journal)
Rahman, 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