Background: Facial artery myomucosal flap (FAMM) is an intraoral flap pedicled on facial artery used for reconstruction of oral/oropharyngeal defects. Careful assessment of perfusion is essential to avoid flap necrosis, and several options are used for this purpose. Among these, indocyanine green (ICG) fluorescence video-angiography (ICG-VA) represents an innovative tool whose adoption in flap surgery is still at its early days.
Methods: In this multimedia article, we described the use of ICG-VA for perfusion assessment of a FAMM flap harvested for reconstruction of oral lining after ablation of a cT2cN0 floor-of-mouth (FOM) cancer. The use of ICG-VA was aimed at defining ischemic areas on the flap according to a flap-to-normal mucosa ICG ratio.
Results: After transoral excision of the FOM cancer and subsequent harvesting of a FAMM flap, we used ICG-VA to intraoperatively assess its perfusion. The degree of flap perfusion was expressed point-by-point through flap-to-normal mucosa ICG ratio (percentage); a value of 25-27% was considered as threshold for ischemia. Perfusion was documented both with white light modality with “overlay fluorescence” and “black and white SPY fluorescence mode” designed to increase the sensitivity of ICG detection. Small, ischemic areas were detected in the distal part of the flap and were trimmed. At the end of the procedure, an adequate perfusion was evident throughout the whole flap, allowing its safe insetting for left FOM reconstruction. Postoperative course was uneventful.
Conclusions: ICG-VA represents a reliable tool for intraoperative detection-and trimming-of ischemic areas on reconstructive flaps.