Background: Surgical site infections can adversely affect flaps in head and neck reconstruction. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the risk factors of surgical site infections in supraclavicular artery island flap reconstructions. Methods: Records of patients undergoing head and neck surgery from 2011 to 2014 with supraclavicular artery island flap reconstruction at a single specialty hospital were reviewed; surgical site infections ≤30 days postoperatively were noted. Results: Of 64 patients, 86% underwent resection for malignancy, 55% previously received radiation. Sixty-three percent of surgeries were clean-contaminated. Seven patients (11%) developed recipient site surgical site infections, all in patients who underwent clean-contaminated surgery for malignancy. There was no complete flap loss. No significant differences in demographics or perioperative factors were noted. Oral cavity and laryngeal reconstructions (p =.014) and clean-contaminated surgery (p =.04) were factors associated with increased surgical site infection risk on univariate but not multivariate analysis. Patients with surgical site infections had longer hospitalizations (p =.003). Conclusion: The supraclavicular artery island flap can be used for head and neck reconstruction with a low rate of surgical site infection.
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