European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

, Volume 275, Issue 7, pp 1921–1926 | Cite as

Pharyngocutaneous and tracheoesophageal fistula closure using supraclavicular artery island flap

  • Sérgio Teixeira
  • Joana Costa
  • Diana Monteiro
  • Isabel Bartosch
  • Inês Ínsua-Pereira
  • Bernardo Correia
  • Álvaro Silva
Short Communication



Pharyngocutaneous fistula is a common complication of laryngopharyngeal surgery, being associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Classical regional and free flaps, frequently used in the treatment of this complication, have several limitations, including bulking, donor site morbidity and long operative time. The supraclavicular artery island flap (SCAIF) is a fasciocutaneous flap and presents as an alternative option with good results and without the previously stated limitations. We describe our experience with SCAIF in pharyngocutaneous and tracheoesophageal fistula closure.


Between April and December 2017, four patients with pharyngocutaneous and two patients with tracheoesophageal fistula underwent fistula closure with SCAIF. Clinical records were retrospectively reviewed.


Pharyngocutaneous fistulae were associated with anterior esophageal wall defects ranging from 4 to 13.5 cm2. Tracheoesophageal fistulae defects were smaller (approximately 2 cm2). Fistula closure was achieved in all patients, oral diet was started on the 14th day post-operative and there were no signs of recurrence during follow-up. The donor area was complicated with the formation of hematoma in two patients.


The SCAIF has unique features that makes it an ideal option for pharyngocutaneous and tracheoesophageal fistula closure, namely, reliable perfusion, quick and simple dissection, pliability and minor donor site morbidity. Local complications do not significantly affect long term morbidity of the donor area and can be avoided with simple measures.


Supraclavicular artery island flap Pharyngocutaneous fistula Tracheoesophageal fistula Pharyngoesophageal reconstruction 



The authors received no specific funding for this article.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. Additional informed consent was obtained from all individual participants for whom identifying information is included in this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery and Burn UnityCentro Hospitalar de São JoãoPortoPortugal

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