Fate of free flap microanastomosis distal to the zone of injury in lower extremity trauma

Adam R. Kolker, Armen K. Kasabian, Nolan S. Karp, Jacob J. Gottlieb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations

Abstract

The decision to perform free flap microanastomosis to clearly uninjured vessels proximal to the zone of injury for lower extremity reconstruction must be weighed against the anatomic and technical difficulties of performing such an anastomosis. Preserved blood flow through vessels traversing the zone of injury has been shown. The records of all patients who underwent lower extremity reconstruction with microvascular free flaps at NYU Medical Center and Bellevue Hospital Center from January 1979 through August 1995 were reviewed. Patients with free flap microanastomoses distal to the zone of injury were compared with those with proximally based anastomoses. The group of patients was subdivided further into acute (1-21 days), subacute (22-60 days), and chronic (greater than 60 days) reconstruction groups. Of 451 microvascular free flaps, 35 were performed with recipient vessels distal to the zone of injury. Time interval from injury to coverage ranged from 24 hours to 57 years. Of 35 distally based flaps, 33 (94 percent) were successful and 5 required reoperation (14 percent). There was a similar incidence of thrombotic complications throughout all after-injury phases. Of 416 free flaps performed with microanastomoses to vessels proximal to the zone of injury, 388 (93 percent) were successful and 62 (15 percent) required reoperation. There was no significant difference (p > 0.05) in outcome between distal and proximal anastomoses and no significant difference (p > 0.05) in rates of reoperation. Timing of operation after injury had no bearing on outcome. Distally based microvascular free flaps anastomoses may be technically less difficult with rates of survival equal to those of proximally based flaps. The consideration and use of microanastomoses distal to the zone of injury are encouraged in selected patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1068-1073
Number of pages6
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Volume99
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1997
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Fate of free flap microanastomosis distal to the zone of injury in lower extremity trauma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this