Head and neck reconstructive microsurgery in patients with calcified vessels (atherosclerosis or radiotherapy) is challenging. Preoperative reconstruction planning should meticulously evaluate the pedicle length and caliber aiming to select the most adapted free flap type and to plan the need for harvesting two free flaps or a venous graft. During surgery, end-to-end microanastomosis should be preferred, without artery clamps on calcified vessels and using open-loop sutures, a limited number of microsutures and a round needle with inside-outside directed bites (no atherosclerotic plaque removal). Before declamping, fibrin sealants are used to prevent minor leakage around the anastomosis as well as before wound closure to fix the optimal position of the pedicle avoiding pressure on the vessels or pedicle kinking. Calcified vessels are not a barrier to microsurgery and do not constitute a contraindication. Several options are useful to safely perform microsurgical head and neck reconstruction.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Microsurgery, Reconstruction, Free flap, Calcification, Atherosclerosis, Radiotherapy