Review of 197 consecutive free flap reconstructions in the lower extremity

Wettstein, Reto; Schürch, Roland; Banic, Andrej; Erni, Dominique; Harder, Yves (2008). Review of 197 consecutive free flap reconstructions in the lower extremity. Journal of plastic, reconstructive & aesthetic surgery, 61(7), pp. 772-6. Amsterdam: Elsevier 10.1016/j.bjps.2007.11.037

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Complications and failures after microvascular free tissue transfer for lower extremity reconstruction have a negative impact on postoperative course and final outcome. Therefore, a 10-year analysis on lower extremity reconstruction with free flaps was performed with a special emphasis on patient co-morbidities such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, body mass index and history of smoking, in order to identify potential risk factors. Complications such as haematoma, seroma, infection, wound dehiscence, as well as partial flap loss, postoperative thrombosis of the anastomosis and eventual total flap loss were gathered from the medical records. Limb salvage was 100%, however 40% suffered from complications ranging from minor wound dehiscence to total flap loss. None of the above-mentioned potential risk factors was associated with an increased rate of complications. However, in flaps that required revision for thrombosis, the age of the patients was significantly higher in the group of flaps that eventually failed when compared to flaps that were salvaged. In conclusion, lower extremity reconstruction with microvascular free tissue transfer is a safe and reliable procedure with a high success rate, however partial flap loss remains an important issue. Increased age was the only factor identified with an increased risk for subsequent flap loss in cases that were revised for thrombosis.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Orthopaedic, Plastic and Hand Surgery (DOPH) > Clinic of Plastic and Hand Surgery > Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery

UniBE Contributor:

Banic, Andrej and Erni, Dominique










Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:04

Last Modified:

04 May 2014 23:20

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URI: (FactScience: 115624)

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