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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 76-79

Effect of intraoperative vasopressor use on free flap outcome following major head-and-neck reconstructive surgeries

Department of Anaesthesia, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kochi, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Sunil Rajan
Department of Anaesthesia, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jhnps.jhnps_53_20

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Introduction: Major head-and-neck surgeries involving wide excision of the tumor usually necessitate reconstruction with free flaps for tissue cover. Even with meticulous fluid management with crystalloids, colloids, albumin, blood, and blood products, many patients become hemodynamically unstable and require the use of vasopressors perioperatively. Objectives: The purpose of this analysis was to assess the safety, role, and present-day trends of the use of vasopressor agents in free flap surgeries and to find any relation of graft rejection or failure of flap surgeries or postoperative complications with perioperative use of such agents. Methods: Reviewing the literature regarding the usage of vasopressors in head-and-neck free flap surgeries, percentage of flap survival, thrombosis of the artery, venous edema, and need for revision surgery were analyzed. Most of the published data had shown that optimizing hemodynamic stability with vasopressors had a more beneficial effect on overall flap perfusion and minimized the complications of iatrogenic fluid overload. The common conclusion was that perioperative vasopressor administration was not detrimental to free flap survival. Conclusion: Based on available data, it is concluded that perioperative use of vasopressors does not adversely affect free flap outcome in patients undergoing head-and-neck reconstructive surgeries and could even be beneficial considering the avoidance of complications of liberal intravenous fluid administration.

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