Background: Pectoralis major flap reconstruction is often associated with large unappealing scars in head-neck surgery. We recently established an alternative harvesting technique that improves aesthetic outcome. Objectives: The objective of this study was to demonstrate a modified surgical technique that harvests the pectoralis major muscle as an island flap and focuses on minimizing incision lines and applying a muscle-sparing approach. Methods: A retrospective analysis covering the period 2008–2018 was conducted. Patients who underwent pectoralis major island flap reconstruction for fistula prophylaxis after salvage laryngectomy at the Medical University of Innsbruck were included. Flap harvesting was performed subcutaneously using two small incision lines, thereby sparing the clavicular and upper sternocostal aspects of the pectoralis muscle. Results: Twenty-three patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx (n = 19) or pharynx (n = 4) underwent salvage laryngectomy and consecutive reconstruction using a pectoralis major island flap and our muscle-sparing technique. Mean overall operation time was 147 ± 48.6 min. The majority (70%) of patients had an uneventful course of recovery and showed satisfying aesthetic results and low donor site morbidity as compared to traditional harvesting techniques. Six (26%) patients had major complications that required surgical revision. Three (13%) cases were complicated with fistulas. Conclusion: The pectoralis major island flap is shown to be reliable in otolaryngeal surgery. This surgical technique minimizes scarring and preserves thoracic wall architecture by taking a less invasive approach, thereby improving aesthetic outcome and reducing overall patient morbidity.

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