Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/Aim: Due to increased average life expectancy, the number of elderly patients requiring complex reconstructive microsurgical procedures is rising. Age, comorbid conditions, and location of operation are all possible risk factors. The aim of this study is to evaluate surgical outcomes to set the right criteria. Materials and methods: Between 1996 and 2014, the data of 30 patients over the age of 70, who were treated with microsurgical techniques in our clinic, were extracted from patient records and analyzed retrospectively. Results: In this patient population, flap success rate was 94%. Systemic and surgical complication rates were 40% and 48%, respectively. Complication rates were higher in head and neck cases but there was no statistically significant difference compared to reconstructions in other areas. Loss of oral lining, as a serious complication, had no effect on complications in head and neck reconstruction patients in our series. Conclusions: Flap success is comparable to younger age groups but procedures are associated with a high rate of complications Evaluating and controlling comorbid conditions is important. The American Society of Anesthesiologists scoring system is reliable in this patient population. Although complications are more common, these procedures can be performed safely in elderly populations with careful patient selection.


Elderly, free flap, microsurgery, complications, safety

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