Selection of the recipient vein in microvascular flap reconstruction of the lower extremity: analysis of 362 free-tissue transfers
2011 (English)In: Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, ISSN 1748-6815, E-ISSN 1532-1959, Vol. 64, no 5, 649-655 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Venous insufficiency is the most common cause of re-exploration in free-tissue transfers to the lower extremity. There is currently no consensus regarding the best approach to recipient vein selection. This study was designed to evaluate whether the type of venous system or the number of recipient veins would impact flap outcomes after microsurgical lower-extremity reconstruction. A retrospective study was conducted in 362 free-tissue transfers for lower-extremity reconstruction between 2003 and 2008. Flap outcomes were evaluated according to the selection of recipient vein system and number of veins. The deep venous system (80.4%) was more frequently selected than the superficial venous system (12.1%) or the combination of both systems (7.5%). In addition, one vein (65.5%) was more commonly used for anastomosis than two veins (34.5%). A total of 26 flaps (7.2%) presented with postoperative venous insufficiency. Male patients, composite defects including bones and the use of bone flaps presented higher rates of venous insufficiency with statistical significance. However, no significant differences were found among the different groups related to the age of patients, co-morbidities, aetiology, location of the defects or timing of reconstruction after trauma. The superficial venous system group was associated with a higher rate of venous insufficiency and partial flap loss compared with the deep venous system group (p = 0.036 and 0.018, respectively). One-vein-anastomosis flaps were associated with statistically significant fewer complete flap failure in comparison with two-vein-anastomosis flaps (p = 0.014). In conclusion, the assessment of recipient vein parameters by surgeon's experience is the best predictor of flap outcome in lower-extremity reconstruction. In our cohort of patients, the deep venous system was more reliable than the superficial venous system, but the use of more than one vein for anastomosis did not correlate with better flap outcomes.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 64, no 5, 649-655 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-163045DOI: 10.1016/j.bjps.2010.07.028PubMedID: 20727842OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-163045DiVA: diva2:462562