Objectives: The vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) system is a topical negative pressure dressing that has been used extensively to manage a multitude of complicated wounds, including enterocutaneous fistula. We hypothesize that the VAC system may also facilitate the closure of orocutaneous and pharyngocutaneous fistulas. Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed. Results: Three patients were identified. Two patients developed fistulas after undergoing salvage laryngectomy, and 1 patient developed a fistula after having a hemiglossectomy defect reconstructed by a radial forearm free flap. The VAC system was successful in closing the fistula in 2 of the 3 patients. Complete fistula closure took 3 and 11 days in the 2 cases. The 1 failure of fistula closure was due to poor collapsibility of the neck tissue along the fistula tract caused by fibrosis following prior radiotherapy. Conclusions: The VAC system is a feasible treatment option for closing head and neck fistulas, especially when collapsible tissue is present at the fistula site.
- Fistula closure
- Salivary leak
- Topical negative pressure dressing
- Vacuum-assisted closure
ASJC Scopus subject areas