Robot-assisted radial forearm free flap harvesting: a propensity score-matched case–control study

Seung Woo Shin, Hyounmin Kim, Woong Nam, Hyung Jun Kim, In Ho Cha, Yoon Woo Koh, Dongwook Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although some surgeons prefer anterolateral thigh and latissimus dorsi flap for soft tissue reconstruction in the head and neck area because it minimizes donor site complications, the radial forearm flap remains the workhorse for soft tissue reconstruction due to its reliability. To reduce donor site morbidity, the authors developed a novel technique for radial forearm flap harvesting using a robotic device. 42 radial forearm free flap reconstruction cases were studied, consisting of 31 conventional and 11 robot-assisted cases. 1:1 propensity score matching was done according to age, sex, previous and postoperative radiation therapy history and method used for vein anastomosis. There was no significant difference in flap outcome, which was 100% vitality in the robot-assisted group and 90.9% vitality in the conventional group. The robot-assisted group showed significantly longer mean harvesting time than did the conventional group, being 107.2 min and 67.0 min, respectively. Robot-assisted radial forearm flap harvesting can reduce donor site complications by minimizing incision. When more surgical experience is gained under appropriate case selection, we expect our robot-assisted method will yield a harvesting time similar to that of the conventional method and thus become more reliable and feasible.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Robotic Surgery
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Health Informatics


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