Monitoring flap for buried free tissue transfer: its importance and reliability.
ABSTRACT To improve the success rate of microsurgical flap transfers into a buried area, it is important to monitor the circulation of the flap during the early stage. A monitoring flap includes such advantages as simplicity, reliability, noninvasiveness, and the ability to continuously monitor the vascular status of various buried flaps. This article describes experiences related to the importance and reliability of a monitoring flap. A total of 109 flaps in 99 patients were treated with buried free flaps, including a monitoring flap, between 1990 and 1999. Forty-nine patients received a tubed free radial forearm flap with a skin-monitoring flap, and six received a free jejunal flap with a jejunal segment monitoring flap for the reconstruction of the esophagus. Vascularized fibular grafts with a skin monitoring flap or peroneus longus muscle monitoring flap were used for reconstructing the mandible in six patients and for treating osteonecrosis of the femoral head in 48 flaps in 38 patients. Monitoring flap abnormalities were indicated in 14 flaps; therefore, immediate revisions were performed on the pedicle of the monitoring flap and microanastomosis site. Among these 14 flaps, nine showed true thrombosis and five showed false-positive thrombosis. Among the nine flaps that showed true thrombosis, five were salvaged and four were finally lost. The false-positive thrombosis in the five flaps was attributed to torsion or tension of the perforator of the monitoring flap in three flaps, an unclear determination in one flap because the monitoring flap size was too small, and damage to the perforator in the last flap. The total thrombosis rate was 8.3 percent (nine of 109), and the failure rate of the free tissue transfer was 3.7 percent (four of 109). The overall sensitivity of the monitoring flap was 100 percent, the predictive value of a positive test was 64 percent (nine of 14), and false-positive results occurred in 36 percent (five of 14). The salvage rate was 55.6 percent. To improve the reliability of a monitoring flap, it is recommended that the size of the flap be larger than 1 x 2 cm to assess the arterial status, and that a perforator with the appropriate caliber be selected. When a monitoring flap is fixed to a previous incision line or a newly created wound, any torsion or tension of the perforator should be avoided. In conclusion, the current results suggest that a monitoring flap is a simple, extremely useful, and reliable method for assessing the vascular status of a buried free flap.
Article: Buried anterolateral thigh flap for pharyngoesophageal reconstruction: our method for monitoring.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A noninvasive method for monitoring in cases of pharyngoesophageal defects reconstruction with the anterolateral thigh flap is presented. Seventeen patients underwent reconstruction from 2005 to 2007. In 16 patients, the distal stump of the descending branch of lateral circumflex femoral artery (LCFA) was left on the skin surface covered with a transparent film dressing and monitoring was performed by direct observation of the pulsation. In the 17th patient, the pedicle emerged from the transverse branch of the LCFA and dissection of the distal stump for monitoring was impossible; therefore, he was excluded from the study. Cessation of the pulsation of the stump was noticed immediately postoperatively in 1 patient because of occlusion of the arterial anastomosis and in a second case 15 hours postoperatively due to a neck hematoma that caused collapse of the vein of the pedicle. Both flaps were salvaged. The proposed method of monitoring is simple, reliable, costless, and easily interpreted by the nursing staff.Head & Neck 04/2009; 31(7):882-7. · 2.40 Impact Factor
Article: The use of visible light spectroscopy to measure tissue oxygenation in free flap reconstruction.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The loss of a free flap is a feared complication for both the surgeon and the patient. Early recognition of vascular compromise has been shown to provide the best chance for flap salvage. The ideal monitoring technique for perioperative free flap ischemia would be noninvasive, continuous, and reliable. Visible light spectroscopy (VLS) was evaluated as a new method for predicting ischemia in microvascular cutaneous soft tissue free flaps. In an Institutional Review Board-approved prospective trial, 12 patients were monitored after free flap reconstructions. The tissue hemoglobin oxygen saturation (StO (2)) and total hemoglobin concentration (THB) of 12 flaps were continuously monitored using VLS for 72 hours postoperatively. Out of these 12 flaps 11 were transplanted successfully and 1 flap loss occurred. The StO (2 )was 48.99% and the THB was 46.74% for the 12 flaps. There was no significant difference in these values among the flaps. For the single flap loss, the device accurately reflected the ischemic drop in StO (2) indicating drastic tissue ischemia at 6 hours postoperatively before the disappearance of implantable Doppler signals or clinical signs of flap compromise. VLS, a continuous, noninvasive, and localized method to monitor oxygenation, appeared to predict early ischemic complications after free flap reconstruction.Journal of Reconstructive Microsurgery 06/2011; 27(7):397-402. · 1.43 Impact Factor
Article: Assessment of bone microcirculation by contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) and [18F]-positron emission tomography/computed tomography in free osseous and osseocutaneus flaps for mandibular reconstruction: preliminary results.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Postsurgical evaluation of bone microcirculation in osseous and osseocutaneus free flaps by contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) with time intensity curve (TIC) analysis and [18F]-positron emission tomography/computed tomography (Fluoride-PET/CT). 10 patients with osseous or osseocutaneus microvascular flaps were evaluated with CEUS. Ultrasound was carried out by an experienced examiner with a high resolution linear probe (6-9 MHz, LOGIQ E9, GE) after intravenous bolus injection of 2.4 ml SonoVue® (BRACCO, Germany). Time intensity curves (TIC) in selected regions of interest (ROI) were analyzed and compared with the evaluation of [18F]-positron emission tomography/computed tomography and the clinical course for at least 2 month. 9/10 patients showed evidence for soft tissue and osseous microcirculation of the transplants in CEUS correlating with the clinical course. The soft tissue parts of the transplant showed a mean value of 84% (range 51-98%) and the bone parts a mean value of 39% (range 11-75%) for the Area under the curve (AuC) compared with the AuC for the anastomotic vessel region. Mean values for time to peak (TTP) were 27,1 sec (range 8.7-52.0 sec) for the anastomotic vessels, 29.3 sec (range 7.9-62.0 sec) for the soft tissue of and 32.0 sec (range 7.4-69.0 sec) for the transplant bone. In 1/10 patients flap failure occurred, after denudation the bone was left as an avascular transplant. AuC showed a mean value of 0.5 % for the bone region compared with the vessel region. Fluoride-PET/CT assessed bone vitality in 7 patients as "good" in 1 patient as "uncertain" and in 1 patient as "poor". CEUS assessment was corresponding with Fluoride-PET/CT in 4 patients, clinical assessment in 6 patients. Fluoride-PET/CT is a valuable tool to make an indirect statement about the perfusion of the transplanted bone and was used as control in this study. CEUS is a new and promising method for the evaluation of microcirculation of buried free microvascular bone grafts and the osseous part of osseocutaneous flaps and may be used for a steady monitoring in the first postoperative days.Clinical hemorheology and microcirculation 01/2011; 49(1-4):115-28. · 3.40 Impact Factor