Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Published by Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
Online ISSN: 0032-1052
Publications
Article
As pressure on resources increases, decision makers in health care are increasingly seeking high-quality, scientific evidence to support clinical and health policy choices. Ultimately, legislators will look to develop performance measures based on evidence, rather than on consensus or commonality of practice. As plastic surgeons, we can take an increased role in producing impartial evidence on the efficacy of our surgical interventions. We can move away from the retrospective reporting of cases and nonrandomized studies and instead rely on prospective, randomized trials addressing important clinical issues. In doing so, we will challenge the common practice of basing clinical decisions solely on what we are taught, procedures we are most comfortable doing, or procedures that are most financially rewarding. These efforts will not only afford us the best opportunity to provide optimal care to patients but also allow us to demonstrate the inherent quality of our surgical specialty.
 
Article
In recent years there has been a considerable increase in understanding of changes in mortality in Russia and some other former Soviet republics. However, the situation in the republics of the Caucasus remains poorly understood. Information on Georgia is especially fragmentary as a fifth of the country remains outside government control, there has been large scale migration since 1991, and the introduction of fees for vital registration has compromised the quality of official statistics.The aim of the study is to produce plausible estimates for life expectancy in Georgia for the period 1990–1998 and thus to assess whether Georgia has undergone changes similar to other former Soviet republics in the post-independence period.Four models were used to construct life tables. Model 1 used officially published statistics on deaths and population. Model 2 applied new estimates of population derived from household surveys to the observed deaths. Model 3 adjusted model 2 for under-registration at extremes of life, with parameter estimates derived from a survey of infant mortality and comparison of observed rates with Coale-Demeny standard life tables. Model 4 arose following inspection of death rates by cause that revealed implausible discontinuities in cancer mortality rates and involved applying the estimates of under-registration that this finding implied to model 3.The four models produce quite different estimates of life expectancy, differing by 7.8 y for men and 6.8 y for women by 1998. In any of the models, however, Georgia does not appear to have experienced the marked deterioration in life expectancy seen in Russia following the transition to independence. Importantly, Georgia had also not experienced a marked improvement in life expectancy during the 1985 Soviet anti-alcohol campaign, again unlike other Soviet republics.Official statistics substantially over-estimate life expectancy at birth in Georgia. Despite undergoing a civil war, life expectancy in Georgia has been less affected by the transition than has Russia and the overall trends in mortality since the mid 1980s suggest that this may be because alcohol has played a smaller role in these changes than it did in Russia. Public Health (2001) 115, 394–400.
 
Article
Microvascular anastomosis using 12-0 sutures was performed on 44 mice saphenous arteries with external diameters of approximately 0.20 mm. A patency rate of 77 percent at 1 to 2 weeks after anastomosis was achieved. Good visualization, fine sutures and instruments, and meticulous technique were all very important.
 
Article
Endothelins are well-known vasoconstrictor peptides produced by vascular endothelial cells that have been reported to have a fundamental role in regulation of the systemic blood circulation. Plasma levels of endothelins are increased by burn injury, which also causes thrombosis and occlusion of vessels in the dermis as well as a vascular response in the adjacent uninjured dermis. Diminished blood flow leads to progressive ischemia and necrosis of the dermis beneath and around the burn (zone of stasis). If blood flow could be restored in this zone, secondary tissue damage would be minimized. In this study we examined the effects of a new nonselective endothelin receptor antagonist, TAK-044 (Takeda Chemical Industries, Ltd., Osaka, Japan), on burn trauma in rats. Fifty male Sprague-Dawley rats weighing an average of 450 gm were burned with a brass probe that produced a row of three burns 10 x 30 mm in size and two intervening unburned areas 5 x 30 mm in size. Rats were divided into five groups of 10 animals. Four groups received 0.01, 0.1, 1 or 10 mg/kg of TAK-044 via the dorsal vein of the penis immediately after burn trauma, while the control group received the same volume of saline. Skin blood flow was measured with a laser-Doppler flowmeter, and the development of edema and the area of necrotic tissue also were determined. Inhibition of endothelin activity by TAK-044 after burn injury improved microvascular perfusion in the zone of stasis and prevented the progression of tissue damage in this zone. This supports the role of endothelins in the progression of burn injury in the zone of stasis. TAK-044 was most effective in preventing progressive burn damage at a dose of 1 mg/kg. The extent of necrosis and edema was reduced significantly, and blood flow in the zone of stasis was increased in the treated rats.
 
Article
In an experimental study to test the thromboxane (TX) synthetase inhibitor OKY-046, two random-pattern skin flaps, each measuring 15.5 x 2 cm, and caudally based, were elevated on the backs of rabbits, and the effect of the test drug on their survival length was evaluated. The results indicated that the survival length of the skin flaps was 4.5 +/- 0.2 cm in the control group and 6.8 +/- 0.3 cm in the OKY-046-treated group, hence exceeding the control value by more than 50 percent, which was statistically significant. A laser speckle flow-meter showed that the OKY-046-treated flaps had significantly greater blood flow as compared with the control group both at 1 and 48 hours after operation. Whereas the blood flow values were significantly lower at 48 hours than at 1 hour after operation in the control group, no such reduction was noted in the OKY-046-treated group. On the other hand, while plasma TXB2 was found elevated at 1 hour postoperatively in the control group, such a response to the surgical intervention was blocked and the plasma TXB2/6-keto prostaglandin (PG) F1a ratio was decreased in the OKY-046-treated group. These results clearly indicated that OKY-046 suppressed a plasma thromboxane elevation induced by surgery, it augmented the flap blood flow, and it thereby increased flap survival length, suggesting that the drug might be helpful clinically and that further investigation must be carried out concerning its application.
 
Article
The crash of Avianca Airlines flight no. 052 en route to JFK Airport on January 25, 1990, in Cove Neck, New York, resulted in the death of 72 passengers. Eighty-nine victims were admitted to 13 regional hospitals. Despite difficult access to the wooded crash site, early warning and prompt response by 37 volunteer fire and rescue units resulted in organized EMS triage and rapid hospital transport. This report reviews the specific injuries incurred, highlights the team management approach to a major aviation accident in a suburban area, and studies the likelihood of accidents of this magnitude. Thirty-eight patients triaged to two level I trauma centers, North Shore University Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center and Nassau County Medical Center, form the basis of this report. Seventeen patients were male; 21 were female. The average patient age was 33 years. Eight patients were children. The average length of stay was 30.9 days (range 2 to greater than 90 days). Twenty-six patients (including nonsurvivors) (68 percent) sustained significant multiple orthopedic injuries. The majority of fractures were open grade II to III tibia-fibula fractures. Bilaterality was commonly seen. Soft-tissue coverage of open long bone fractures was required in 10 patients (11 extremities) and included 3 microvascular muscle transfers, 7 muscle transposition flaps, and 3 skin grafts. Seven patients required open reduction and fixation of complex facial fractures (two of Le Fort II to III type, four of complex naso-orbital-ethmoid type). Plastic surgical repair of complex lacerations was common. Peripheral nerve exploration was required in three patients.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
 
Article
The records of 1,020 major facial fractures were reviewed, and it was found that the occurrence of life-threatening associated injuries was highly predictable on the basis of the pattern of facial fractures and the circumstances of the injury. Certain groups of patients have a high probability of associated serious injuries of the central nervous system, the trunk, or the extremities. Probably these patients should be primarily under the care of a surgeon who is capable of the diagnosis and emergency therapy of these associated injuries, as well as the facial injuries, so that appropriate priorities can be established and put in effect.
 
Article
To examine the incidence and predictors of surgical and medical morbidity following body contouring procedures. Body contouring is a rapidly emerging field in plastic surgery. This study characterizes risk factors associated with minor wound complicationss, major surgical morbidity, and medical complications using a large, prospective dataset. We reviewed the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP) database from 2005 to 2010 for all identifiable body contouring cases, including CPT codes brachioplasty, medial thigh lift, abdominoplasty, and suction assisted lipectomy (SAL). Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to determine independent predictors of morbidity. Seventeen hundred ninety seven patients underwent body contouring during the study period, the vast majority were female (n=1,600, 89.0%). Average BMI of patients undergoing body contouring was 31.6 kg/m2, with a total of 239 morbidly obese individuals (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2). The most common area of intervention was the trunk region, with 1,652 (91.9%) patients receiving abdominal contouring and/or contouring of the hips and buttocks. Minor wound complicationss occurred in 114 (6.3%) individuals, while 122 (6.8%) patients suffered from a major surgical morbidity, and 40 (2.2%) experienced a medical complication. Multivariate logistic regression revealed, the presence of multiple comorbidities (OR 15.87, P=0.014), presence of a bleeding disorder (OR 20.31, P=0.026), preoperative albumin level (OR 0.14, P=0.003,), and malnutrition (OR 0.19, P=0.065), were associated with an increased odds of minor wound complications. Inpatient procedures (OR 4.64, P=0.06), and functional status (OR 9.71, P=0.011) were associated with an increased odds of major surgical morbidity. This study characterizes the 30-day rates of morbidity in patients undergoing body contouring procedures using a large prospective, validated national data set. These findings highlight the critical importance of careful preoperative patient evaluation, including laboratory screening, and underscore the need for detailed preoperative counseling and risk stratification. prognostic/risk category, level III.
 
Article
It has been shown that endothelialization improves short-term patency of 1.5-mm expanded polytetrafluoroethylene vascular grafts. A model for endothelialization of 1.5-mm expanded polytetrafluoroethylene vascular grafts with human endothelial cells is described. In this model, the adherence of endothelial cells was increased significantly in grafts coated with serum proteins and collagen. By means of this protocol, graft patency was tested after implantation in two animal models: the rat aorta and the rabbit common carotid artery. Anastomosis was performed with a 3M Precise Microvascular Anastomotic System. In both animal models, no significant loss of endothelial cells in the precoated grafts (rat, n = 8) were noted 1 hour after blood flow restoration. All uncoated grafts showed significant endothelial cell loss. In the rabbit model, all nonendothelialized grafts (n = 8) clotted 5 to 25 minutes after flow restoration. Seven (n = 8) endothelialized grafts showed no clotting during 1 hour's observation: one clotted immediately for a patency rate of 87.5 percent. These results indicate that endothelialization of 1.5-mm grafts is practical. Furthermore, adhesion of endothelial cells to the graft walls is not affected by short-term, pulsatile, high-pressure blood flow.
 
Article
Microvascular surgery has become an important method for reconstructing surgical defects resulting from trauma, tumors, or burns. The most important factor for successful free flap transfer is a well-executed anastomosis. This study was performed to review the authors' experience with a 1.9-microm diode laser in microsurgery, with special attention to outcomes and performance of the technique. Between January of 2005 and December of 2007, 27 patients underwent microsurgery with a 1.9-microm diode laser at the authors' institute. The patients had a mean age of 31 years (range, 2 to 59 years); 14 patients were women and 13 patients were men. This technique was used for digital replantations (n = 2) and for free flap transfer (n = 27). Causes of the defects were trauma (n = 14), tumor (n = 9), congenital (n = 2), burn (n = 1), infection (n = 1), arthritis (n = 1), and dog bite (n = 1). Laser-assisted microvascular anastomosis was performed with a 1.9-microm diode laser after placement of equidistant stitches. The following parameters were used: spot size, 400 microm; power, 125 mW; time depending on vessel size (0.8 to 1.8 mm); and fluence varying from 70 to 200 J/cm. Three surgical revisions following hematoma and one rupture of the arterial anastomosis leading to a free deep inferior epigastric perforator flap necrosis resulting from high-dose radiotherapy before surgery occurred after laser-assisted microvascular anastomosis, accounting for an overall success rate of 96.6 percent. This study reports the numerous benefits of the technique: easier performance of vascular anastomosis with difficult access, decrease of reperfusion bleeding and complications, and a short learning curve.
 
Article
Background: Intraoperative experience is an essential component of surgical training. The impact of resident involvement in plastic surgery has not previously been studied on a large scale. Methods: The authors retrospectively reviewed the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database from 2006 to 2010 for all reconstructive plastic surgery cases. Resident involvement was tracked as an individual variable to compare outcomes. Results: A total of 10,356 cases were identified, with 43 percent noted as having resident involvement. The average total relative value units, a proxy for surgical complexity, and operative time were higher for procedures with residents present. When balanced by baseline characteristics using propensity score stratification into quintiles, no differences in graft, prosthesis, or flap failure or mortality were observed. Furthermore, there were no differences in overall complications or wound infection with resident involvement for a majority of the quintiles. Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed that resident involvement was a significant predictor of overall morbidity, but not associated with increased odds of wound infection, graft, prosthesis or flap failure, or overall mortality. Conclusions: Residency has the dual mission of training future physicians and also providing critical support for academic medical centers. Using a large-scale, multicenter database, the authors were able to confirm that well-matched cohorts with—and without—resident presence had similar complication profiles. Moreover, even when residents were involved in comparably more complex cases with longer operative times, infection, graft and flap failure, and mortality remained similar. CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Risk, II.
 
Article
Background: This study explored factors associated with readmission following plastic surgery using a prospective, validated, national database. Methods: Patients who underwent primary plastic surgery procedures (n = 10,669) were identified from the 2011 American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program databases. Those who were readmitted were compared with those who were not. Preoperative patient comorbidities, laboratory values, and intraoperative details derived from the data set were analyzed, and multivariate regression analysis was used to identify predictors of readmission. Results: A total of 10,669 patients were included, with a 4.5 percent readmission rate. Their average age was 49.5 years, 32.2 percent were obese, 15.2 percent were smokers, and 81.7 percent were women. The most commonly performed procedures included elective/cosmetic breast (23.4 percent), implant breast reconstruction (16.5 percent), revision breast procedures (14.9 percent), hand operations (9.7 percent), and body contouring (5.9 percent). The wound complication rate was 4.6 percent and the medical complication rate was 4.9 percent. The overall incidence of any postoperative complication was 10.9 percent, of which 4.8 percent were defined as major surgical complications. Independent risk factors associated with readmission included procedure type (p = 0.029); obesity (p = 0.011); anemia (p = 0.003); and medical (p < 0.001), major surgical (p < 0.001), and wound (p < 0.001) complications. Conclusions: The most significant predictor of readmission was postoperative complications. Patients experiencing postoperative surgical complications were six times more likely to be readmitted. These findings can assist surgeons and health systems to better tailor preoperative risk counseling, resource allocation, and postoperative discharge services.
 
Article
Microvascular anastomosis is one of the more critical aspects of free flap surgery. A safe, effective, and expedient method for venous anastomosis minimizes flap ischemia time, is easier on the surgical team, and saves costly operating room time. The authors report on their experience using the Synovis microvascular anastomotic coupling device in 1000 consecutive venous anastomoses in free flap breast reconstruction. The authors retrospectively reviewed 1000 consecutive venous anastomoses that were performed using the microvascular anastomotic coupler between July of 2002 and July of 2008. Data were obtained on flap type, recipient vessel, coupler size, incidence of venous thrombosis, timing of venous thrombosis, and morbidity as a result of venous thrombosis. All anastomoses were performed in an end-to-end fashion. There were 460 unilateral cases and 270 bilateral cases of breast reconstruction. Flap types included muscle-sparing free transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous, deep inferior epigastric perforator, superficial inferior epigastric artery, superior gluteal artery perforator, and inferior gluteal artery perforator. The vast majority of the recipient vessels were the internal mammary or thoracodorsal vessels. Most of the couplers that were used were either 3 or 2.5 mm in diameter. Overall, there were six instances of venous thrombosis (rate of 0.6 percent). There were no total flap losses due to venous thrombosis in this series, although two patients had partial flap necrosis. The patency rate for venous anastomoses performed with the microvascular coupler is excellent when compared with standard suture techniques and has the advantage of overall easier application.
 
Article
The goal of the authors' study was to determine whether an autologous tissue flap, when combined with an implant for breast reconstruction, reduces the incidence of implant-related complications in previously irradiated breasts. The authors reviewed 1000 consecutive cases of implant-based breast reconstructions performed in 706 patients at the authors' institution. The median age was 49.5 years, and mean follow-up was 22.2 months. Eighty-six patients (8.6 percent) received preoperative radiation therapy and 43 patients (4.3 percent) received postoperative radiation therapy to the reconstructed breast. Breast reconstructions were performed using an expander/implant alone in 776 cases, a latissimus dorsi flap/implant in 146 cases, and a free transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous (TRAM) flap/implant in 78 cases. Implant-based reconstructions were considered to have failed if an implant was lost because of extrusion, infection, or rupture or if implant exchange was required because of a severe capsular contracture. In patients who had undergone preoperative irradiation, patients with free TRAM flap/implant reconstructions had a significantly lower implant loss rate than patients with expander/implant-only reconstructions (5.0 percent versus 30.3 percent, p < 0.04). Also, significantly fewer reconstructions failed in patients with latissimus dorsi flap/implant reconstructions or TRAM flap/implant reconstructions than in patients with expander/implant-only reconstructions (15.2 percent or 10.0 percent versus 42.2 percent, p < 0.03). An autologous flap, when combined with an implant for breast reconstruction, appears to reduce the incidence of implant-related complications in previously irradiated breasts.
 
Article
Abdominal contour deformities after massive weight loss are highly variable, ranging from a mild upper protuberance to multiple rolls. Correction of these deformities is challenging and may require advanced surgical techniques. Evaluating the incidence of patients presenting with various abdominal deformities and the factors influencing these deformities could aid patients undergoing weight loss. All massive weight loss patients presenting for abdominal contouring from 2002 to 2012 were reviewed, and abdomens were graded using a modified Pittsburgh Rating Scale. Data collected for each patient included body mass indices, history of bariatric surgery, and type of abdominal contouring surgery. One thousand six patients were evaluated, with a mean age of 44.2 ± 10.5 years. The mean maximum body mass index was 51.7 ± 9.6 kg/m, mean current body mass index was 30.0 ± 6.4 kg/m, and mean change in body mass index was 21.7 ± 7.0 kg/m. Sixty-four percent had a high-grade deformity. Patients with a larger change in body mass index had higher deformity grades (p < 0.001). Patients with higher deformity grades were more likely to undergo a fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty (p < 0.001). Most patients presenting for body contouring after massive weight loss have high-grade abdominal deformities with multiple rolls. Change in body mass index is positively correlated with deformity grade and more aggressive contouring procedures. Patients interested in massive weight loss should be counseled that, depending on desire for eventual outcomes, more complex procedures may be required to correct the resultant abdominal deformity. Therapeutic, IV.
 
Article
: Abdominoplasty is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic operative procedures. Few large studies have examined outcomes of cosmetic abdominoplasty in a community setting. The authors explored postoperative outcome and the preoperative and intraoperative factors that may contribute to these complications. : A retrospective review of consecutive patients undergoing abdominoplasty over an 11-year period was performed. Baseline patient demographics, intraoperative technique, and postoperative outcomes were recorded. Preoperative and intraoperative characteristics were analyzed to determine characteristics that predispose patients to complications and undesirable outcomes. : The 1008 study patients underwent either a full or modified abdominoplasty with a total complication rate of 32.6 percent. The most common complication was seroma (15.4 percent). Liposuction of the abdominal flap was performed in 469 patients (46.5 percent) and liposuction of the flanks was performed in 555 patients (55.1 percent). Chi-square analysis followed by logistic regression revealed that liposuction of the flanks and abdomen was independently associated with seroma formation in addition to major and minor complications (p < 0.05). : Seroma formation following abdominoplasty is the most common complication. Concomitant liposuction of the flanks and abdomen with the addition of aggressive undermining leads to higher seroma rates. This association is likely multifactorial and may be secondary to increased resorptive demands placed on the abdominal lymphatics in the setting of greater dead space and larger fluid shifts as a result of liposuction. To reduce seroma rates, surgeons should avoid aggressive liposuction and undermining, particularly in high-risk patients. : Risk, III.
 
Article
Despite a 12 to 82 percent pressure ulcer recurrence rate, no standard protocol exists for postoperative management. The authors reviewed a single surgeon's experience using a standard protocol: surgery and immediate reconstruction regardless of nutrition, intraoperative bone culture guiding postoperative antibiotic use, and hospital admission for 3 weeks of flat bedrest before graduated sitting. A 5-year retrospective chart review was performed on consecutive surgically treated pressure ulcers. A search of billing records identified 101 patients with 179 ulcers. Data abstracted included demographics, comorbidities, location and stage of ulcers, treatment history with outcomes, and laboratory data. Seventy-nine percent of the patients were men with a mean age of 49.4 years. Of 179 ulcers, 49.7 percent were ischial, 26.8 percent were sacral, and 19 percent were trochanteric; 87.7 percent of ulcers were stage 4. Primary closure was performed on 45.8 percent; others underwent flap closure. There was no correlation between positive bone cultures and recurrence or complications. The overall recurrence rate was 16.8 percent at a mean period of 435.9 days. New ulcer occurrence was 14.5 percent and the complication rate was 17.3 percent. Admission prealbumin and albumin did not correlate with recurrence or complication. Mean follow-up was 629 days. A standard clinical pathway for pressure ulcer treatment improves long-term outcomes; the authors' protocol's validity is supported by low recurrence and complication rates. Nutritional data do not predict outcome. Intraoperative bone cultures are the most valid method of diagnosing osteomyelitis; results should not delay definitive treatment. Therapeutic, IV.
 
Article
Since its introduction in the United States, suction-assisted lipectomy has proven to be a safe, effective technique for correction of figure faults. It has been greeted with considerable skepticism by many practitioners, however, owing to the poor results many have obtained in their initial attempts to apply similar techniques. Suction lipectomy using the blunt technique is a safe procedure that can yield consistently good results when appropriately applied. It is suggested that the principal reason others have had difficulty involves problems in patient selection. The technique may not be effective for the correction of generalized obesity and cannot be expected to dramatically alter overall appearance. Patients should be selected for treatment of specific "figure faults" and educated as to what may realistically be expected. The patient's emotional and psychological condition must be taken into consideration. We report a series of 101 patients treated with a total of 202 separate suction lipectomy procedures with good results and only two minor complications. A survey of patients treated by the method reveals a generally high level of satisfaction and some of the ambivalence that might be anticipated from such a technique.
 
Article
Polyacrylamide (Aquamid) is a nonabsorbable soft-tissue filler. It consists of a polyacrylamide hydrogel. Safety and aesthetic results after injection of polyacrylamide hydrogel for facial soft-tissue enhancement were analyzed in a clinical trial. In a prospective multicenter study, 251 patients were enrolled for injection of polyacrylamide hydrogel (Aquamid). The results of the first year follow-up have been described previously. One hundred one of 251 initially enrolled patients could be recruited for follow-up 24 months after the first injection. Standardized photographs were taken, and blood and urine samples were collected before treatment and during follow-up visits. Common sites of injection were nasolabial folds, lips, glabella folds, and other sites. The amount of injected gel ranged from 0.2 to 12 ml. A course of 24 months was followed in 101 patients. Results were judged to be good or very good by the investigators in 93 patients. Eighty-six patients judged the aesthetic outcome as satisfactory or very satisfactory. No severe side effects were observed during the 2-year follow-up period. Transient local reactions that resolved spontaneously were detected in several patients. In one case, burning sensations after lip augmentation were reported lasting up to the 24-month follow-up visit. Polyacrylamide hydrogel (Aquamid) yielded satisfying aesthetic results in more than 90 percent of patients. There was no difference in efficacy between 12 and 24 months' follow-up. No adverse soft-tissue reaction was observed. The study group may be biased, as patients with bad results may have refrained from further follow-up. Long-term follow-up is necessary.
 
Article
We reviewed our experience with nine consecutive patients with untreated isolated nonsyndromic sagittal synostosis. Using a method of 14 clinically relevant measurements taken from preoperative and postoperative CT scan images of these patients, we documented their presenting skeletal dysmorphology and the results of surgical correction at least 1 year after operation. Significant preoperative findings included an elongated cranial vault length that averaged 103 percent of normal and a narrowed cranial vault width both anteriorly at 92 percent and posteriorly at 86 percent of normal. Results of surgical correction, as documented by CT scan measurements, included normalization of the cranial length to 100 percent and of the anterior width to 101 percent of normal and improvement (but undercorrection) of the posterior width to 94 percent of normal. Quantitative measurement of CT scan images confirmed clinically observed findings in these patients before suture release and reconstruction and proved useful in assessing the surgical results achieved.
 
Article
The supraclavicular flap is an excellent flap that has been used widely, but its vascular reliability remains unclear. In this article, the authors report the results of their anatomical studies on 40 flaps from 20 preserved cadavers and their clinical studies of 103 supraclavicular flaps in 101 patients. In their anatomical study, the authors analyzed the important anatomical features that are useful for harvesting flaps. In their clinical study, the authors analyzed the cases in terms of flap reliability. The supraclavicular artery branched from the transverse cervical artery in all 40 specimens (100 percent). Although it arose from the middle third of the clavicle in 90 percent of the specimens, it arose from the lateral third of the clavicle in four specimens (10 percent). Moreover, the transverse cervical artery originated from the subclavian artery in two of 40 specimens (5 percent) rather than from the thyrocervical trunk. The origins of the supraclavicular and transverse cervical arteries were on average 4.12 cm apart (range, 3 to 5.5 cm). In our clinical study, 101 of the 103 flaps (98.1 percent) were (vascular-pedicled) island flaps and five (4.9 percent) were transferred under a skin tunnel. We also performed a supercharged flap transfer using posterior circumflex humeral vessels. Of the 103 flaps, 97 survived completely (94.2 percent), but four and two exhibited superficial distal necrosis (3.9 percent) and total necrosis (1.9 percent), respectively. Supraclavicular flaps are reliable, but vascular anomalies exist. In the authors' experience, the posterior circumflex humeral artery could be used for supercharging the supraclavicular flap.
 
Article
Alar reconstruction can be challenging, and numerous solutions for reconstructing this potentially difficult area have been proposed. Our preferred solution is an island inversion flap based upon the superior alar artery. We performed a retrospective review of the medical notes and photographs of 103 consecutive patients undergoing alar reconstruction with the nasal sidewall island inversion flap. Patient demographics and complications were recorded. Where available post-operative photos (>2 months post-op) were rated by 3 plastic surgeons, using a Likert scale together with a rating guide to determine the aesthetic outcome. Between 1998 and 2012 we performed 103 island inversion flaps. Mean patient age was 59 yrs (range 23-85 yrs). 18/103 (17%) of patients had defects extending beyond the ala.There were no flap losses and 7 cases of superficial epidermolysis. Revision surgery was performed in 3 cases. In 48/103 cases post-operative photos (>2 months post-op) were available for aesthetic assessment. The aesthetic results were rated as 'Good' to 'Excellent' in over 70% of cases (range 73-85%) by the 3 plastic surgeons. Conclusions:The nasal sidewall island inversion flap is a reliable and versatile flap for alar reconstruction that can consistently produce good to excellent aesthetic results in a single-stage operation. IV. Therapeutic.
 
Article
Tissue neovascularized by implanting a vascular pedicle can be transferred as a "prefabricated flap" based on the blood flow through the implanted pedicle. This technique potentially allows any defined tissue volume to be transferred to any specified recipient site, greatly expanding the armamentarium of reconstructive options. During the past 10 years, 17 flaps were prefabricated and 15 flaps were transferred successfully in 12 patients. Tissue expanders were used as an aid in 11 flaps. Seven flaps were prefabricated at a distant site and later transferred using microsurgical techniques. Ten flaps were prefabricated near the recipient site by either transposition of a local vascular pedicle or the microvascular transfer of a distant vascular pedicle. The prefabricated flaps were subsequently transferred as island pedicle flaps. These local vascular pedicles can be re-used to transfer additional neovascularized tissues. Common pedicles used for neovascularization included the descending branch of the lateral femoral circumflex, superficial temporal, radial, and thoracodorsal pedicles. Most flaps developed transient venous congestion that resolved in 36 to 48 hours. Venous congestion could be reduced by incorporating a native superficial vein into the design of the flap or by extending the prefabrication time from 6 weeks to several months. Placing a Gore-Tex sleeve around the proximal pedicle allowed for much easier pedicle dissection at the time of transfer. Prefabricated flaps allow the transfer of moderate-sized units of thin tissue to recipient sites throughout the body. They have been particularly useful in patients recovering from extensive burn injury on whom thin donor sites are limited.
 
Article
Systemic corticosteroid therapy has been used to treat hemangiomas for 30 years; yet, there are no studies of possible complications. We reviewed the database of the Vascular Anomalies Center at the Boston Children's Hospital and gathered information on short- and long-term side effects in children who were given systemic corticosteroids for problematic hemangiomas. In addition, a questionnaire regarding early and late consequences was sent to the families of children who were treated with corticosteroids from 1983 to 1997. Of 300 patients with hemangiomas, 80 children were identified as having received a full course of systemic corticosteroids for problematic tumors. Complete data were collected on 62 of these children. The response rate to the questionnaire was 78 percent (n = 62 of 80). The initial dose of corticosteroid varied from 2 to 3 mg/kg/ day. Duration of therapy ranged from 2 to 21 months (mean, 7.9 months; median, 6.5 months). The follow-up interval from the cessation of therapy ranged from 6 months to 15 years (mean, 4 years; median, 3 years). Short-term complications included cushingoid facies (n = 44; 71 percent), personality changes (n = 18; 29 percent), gastric irritation (n = 13; 21 percent), fungal (oral or perineal) infection (n = 4; 6 percent), and diminished gain of height (n = 22; 35 percent) and weight (n = 26; 42 percent). A total of 91 percent of children who had diminished gain of height (n = 20) returned to their pretreatment growth curve for height by 24 months of age. One child, who was treated at another institution with a dose of 20 mg/kg/day for 6.5 months that was slowly tapered over 18 months, was petite 6 years after ending therapy. Another child treated with an initial dose of 2 mg/kg/day for 5 months was smaller than predicted at the age of 6 years, but she was born prematurely and was on ventilatory support for respiratory distress. Three children treated with the standard dose and duration were at a low percentile for weight 4, 5, and 10 years after the cessation of therapy. Statistical analysis showed a correlation between diminished gain of height with duration of therapy and age at initiation of treatment. One child had corticosteroid myopathy that resolved with cessation of therapy. We found no evidence for immunologic suppression, i.e., there was no increase in the number of bacterial infections during corticosteroid administration. In conclusion, systemic corticosteroids can be safely given to treat endangering hemangiomas in infants at doses of 2 to 3 mg/kg/day, which are slowly tapered and stopped before the age of 1 year. Short-term side effects were minor and transient, and no serious long-term complications occurred.
 
Article
One-hundred and four patients with fractures of the metacarpals and phalanges have been treated with rigid internal fixation over a 6-year period. Patients with both open and closed injuries had their fractures fixed by tension band wires, interosseous compression screws (lag screws), or plates and screws. The concepts of primary bone healing and its variations, methods of fixation, and the importance of interfragmentary compression are defined and stressed. Illustrative cases of each technique are described and the applicable principles are enunciated.
 
Article
The advantages of endoscopic carpal tunnel release, compared with traditional open techniques, include smaller incisions, less scar tenderness, and faster recoveries. However, endoscopic carpal tunnel release has also been associated with higher complication rates. The goal of this study was to evaluate the safety and functional outcomes of minimal-incision open carpal tunnel release. In this prospective study involving a 2-year period, 104 patients (149 hands) underwent open carpal tunnel release with a 1-cm incision. Prospective data on complications among 104 patients were recorded, and functional outcomes among 20 patients were assessed by using the Michigan Hand Outcomes Questionnaire, the Jebsen-Taylor Hand Function Test, and pinch/grip strength testing. Data were collected before the operation and 3 weeks and 6 months after the operation. Complications included three wound infections and one carpal tunnel syndrome recurrence, 18 months after the initial release procedure. Michigan Hand Outcomes Questionnaire scores improved significantly between the preoperative and postoperative periods. There were no significant changes in Jebsen-Taylor Hand Function Test results or pinch/grip strength. Minimal-incision open carpal tunnel release can be performed safely and is associated with good functional outcomes.
 
Top-cited authors
Rod J Rohrich
  • Baylor College of Medicine
Michael J Yaremchuk
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
Geoffrey Robb
  • University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Gregory Paul Reece
  • University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Felicia ChuaWei Wei
  • Loughborough University