Background: In mandibular reconstruction with vascularised free fibula transfer, there are situations where the neck on the operated site lacks recipient vessels for vascular anastomosis due to previous radiological/surgical interventions. Methods: The present study aims to clarify the availability of neck vessels on the contralateral side in such situations. Experimental surgery was conducted on 20 fresh cadavers (six males and 14 females). After the left half of the mandible was removed, free vascularised fibula of equivalent length was transferred to fill the defect. The possibility of connecting the peroneal artery and vein to the superior thyroid artery (STA), transverse coli artery (TCA), internal jugular vein (IJV), and external jugular vein (EJV) of the contralateral side was evaluated. Results: In all samples, the peroneal vessels could reach the STA and EJV. However, the peroneal vessels could reach the TCA and IJV of the contralateral side in only 45% and 64.2% of cases, respectively. The average and standard deviation of the lengths by which vessels were insufficient were 1.1 ± 13.9 mm for IJV and 8.8 ± 24.7 mm for TCA. Conclusions: In reference to these findings, it is concluded that, in situations where neck vessels of the defect side are unavailable, availability of the superior thyroid artery and external jugular vein should be examined first. When these vessels are available as recipient vessels, direct vascular anastomosis is highly likely to be successful. In cases where these vessels are unavailable and the transverse coli artery or internal jugular vein is used as the recipient, vascular interposition might be necessary.
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