After reading this article, the participant should be able to: 1. Perform a preoperative assessment of patients undergoing perineal and lower extremity reconstruction. 2. Describe the various tissue flaps used to perform these reconstructions and the advantages and disadvantages of each. 3. Provide appropriate postoperative care and interventions to maximize outcomes.
The lower extremity and perineum provide the foundation for upright posture and ambulation. These areas are made up of intricate contours with variable skin types and must withstand the functional demands of organ orifice support and weight-bearing forces. Successful reconstruction calls for careful preoperative planning and consideration of the site-specific demands.
The authors reviewed literature regarding the most current treatment strategies for lower extremity and perineal reconstruction.
Perineal reconstruction is typically related to genitourinary or digestive tract abnormalities, mainly malignancies. Local and regional flaps are the mainstay of therapy, depending on their availability and the need for adjuvant therapy. Postoperatively, pressure reduction and closed-suction drainage are of major consideration. The lower extremities are prone to trauma, and these wounds often involve underlying and exposed bony abnormalities, and this must be considered in operative planning. Significant defects may be reconstructed with local or regional flaps and free-tissue transfer. The location of the wound and extent of surrounding tissue compromise are of major concern when determining flap coverage. Postoperatively, transition to ambulation and weight-bearing status is paramount.
Reconstruction of the lower extremity and perineum requires recognition of the high functional demands of these areas. Local and regional flaps and free tissue transfer allow reconstruction of complex wounds in these areas. Selecting the correct flap and navigating the postoperative recovery to arrive at functional restoration remain a significant challenge.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
Complex lower extremity wounds present a significant challenge to the reconstructive surgeon. We report a consecutive experience of free tissue transfers for lower extremity reconstruction with a focus on outcomes and flap selection.
A retrospective review of all free tissue transfers for lower extremity reconstruction between 2006 and 2011 was performed. Minor complications were defined as nonoperative complications (infection, seroma, hematoma, wound breakdown, and partial loss). Major complication required a surgical intervention (total flap loss, thrombosis, nonunion, amputation, and hematoma).
A total of 119 free flaps were performed in 114 patients. Reconstructed defects were most commonly derived from acute traumatic (N = 40) or chronic traumatic (N = 34) wounds, oncologic (N = 14), or diabetic (N = 8). Flap loss occurred at a rate of 5.9% and the overall lower extremity salvage rate was 93%. Complications were significantly higher for free tissue transfers to the region of the distal tibia (p = 0.04). Major complications were significantly higher in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (p = 0.02) and in patients who experienced intraoperative technical difficulties (p = 0.014). Flap loss was significantly higher when the rectus abdominis flap was used (p = 0.02) and when a delayed venous thrombotic event occurred (p = 0.001).
Patient comorbidities and defect location can be associated with higher rates of complications; flap selection and delayed venous thrombotic events appear to be associated with flap failure.Level of Evidence Prognostic/risk category, level III.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To review the experience (2011 and 2012) of Wound Center of Plastic Surgery Service, Clinics Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, with treatment of complex traumatic wounds in the perineal region with the association of negative pressure wound therapy followed by a surgical skin coverage procedure.
This was retrospective analysis of ten patients with complex wound in the perineum resulting from trauma assisted by the Department of Plastic Surgery in HC-USP. Negative pressure was used as an alternative for improving local conditions, seeking definitive treatment with skin grafts or flaps.
Negative pressure was used to prepare the wound bed. In patients, the mean time of use of negative pressure system was 25.9 days, with dressing changes every 4.6 days. After negative pressure therapy, 11 local flaps were performed in nine patients, with fasciocutaneous anterolateral thigh flap used in four of these. Mean hospital stay was 58.2 days and accompaniment in Plastic Surgery was 40.5 days.
The use of negative pressure therapy led to improvement of local wound conditions faster than traditional dressings, without significant complications, proving to be the current best alternative as an adjunct for the treatment of this type of injury, always followed by surgical reconstruction with grafts and flaps.
Revista do Colégio Brasileiro de Cirurgiões 08/2013; 40(4):312-317. DOI:10.1590/S0100-69912013000400010
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