Published online Feb 28, 2015. doi: 10.5319/wjo.v5.i1.5
Peer-review started: September 28, 2014
First decision: October 28, 2014
Revised: December 13, 2014
Accepted: January 15, 2015
Article in press: January 15, 2015
Published online: February 28, 2015
Core tip: Microvascular free flap reconstruction of the head and neck has become a successful and reliable procedure important in the treatment of head and neck cancer. Careful consideration of the donor site, strategies for vessel selection, and intra- and post-operative flap monitoring protocols and procedures are crucial for successful free tissue transfer. In this review, we present an overview of the latest techniques and technologies proven useful during free flap surgery including strategies for vessel selection, the use of computer aided modeling programs, indocyanine green near-infrared angiography, and ultrasonic transit-time flowometry.