Indications for pedicled pectoralis major flap in a free tissue transfer practice

Daniel S. Schneider, Vivian Wu, Mark K. Wax

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Background The pedicled pectoralis major myocutaneous flap (PMMF) was highly used over the last 3 decades. The current era of free tissue transfer has gradually relegated the PMMF to a secondary role. Methods In a retrospective review of all patients undergoing pedicled PMMF from 2002 to now, we sought to determine the current role and assess the outcomes of the PMMF in a primary microvascular head and neck reconstructive center. Results Fifty-five PMMFs were performed in 53 patients (24 myocutaneous and 31 myofascial); group 1 consisted of 20 patients (38%) who underwent a secondary PMMF after a free flap complication (flap failure 9/20, fistula 5/20, wound breakdown with great vessel exposure 3/20, loss of soft tissue skin paddle 2/20, and delayed hematoma in 1/20); group 2 included 18 patients (33%) who had a simultaneous free flap with a PMMF for dead space filler or cervical skin/great vessel coverage reconstruction, whereas the remaining 15 patients (29%) in group 3 underwent primary PMMF for reconstruction of cervical skin defect, great vessel coverage, pharyngocutaneous fistula, infection, and dead space filler. Complications of PMMF included 3 hematomas, 2 partial dehiscences, 1 chest wall abscess, and 1 case of mastitis. Because of cervical tethering, 14 of 53 patients underwent secondary pectoralis myectomy with cervical contracture release at a mean of 10.3 months after initial surgery. Conclusion The pedicled PMMF continues to serve an important role in head and neck reconstruction in the microvascular era with notable uses for free flap rescue, with simultaneous free flap reconstruction and for primary reconstruction in select circumstances with an overall acceptable short- and long-term morbidity profile. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2012

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1106-1110
Number of pages5
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • free flap reconstruction
  • head and neck cancer
  • pectoralis flap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'Indications for pedicled pectoralis major flap in a free tissue transfer practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this