Failure by congestion of pedicled and free flaps for reconstruction of lower limbs after trauma: The role of negative-pressure wound therapy

L. Vaienti, R. Gazzola, E. Benanti, F. Leone, A. Marchesi, P. C. Parodi, M. Riccio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Lower limb reconstruction with pedicled or free flaps can be commonly compromised by venous insufficiency. This complication often leads to partial/ complete flap necrosis and increases the risk of superinfection. Negative-pressure wound therapy (NPWT) is known to increase local blood flow, decrease edema, promote tissue granulation, and reduce the likelihood of soft tissue infection. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of NPWT in the treatment of congested pedicled and free flaps of the lower limb after reconstructions in lower limb traumas. A retrospective analysis was performed on four congested (pedicled and free) flaps on the lower limbs. NPWT was applied in all cases after partial flap debridement. NPWT was able to improve and resolve tissue edema and venous insufficiency, avoid further flap necrosis, and promote granulation. On NPWT removal, a split-thickness skin graft was applied on the wound, achieving complete and uneventful healing. NPWT is a useful instrument in managing flaps affected by venous insufficiency in lower limb reconstruction, although larger studies are necessary to better define the effectiveness and indications of NPWT in this setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-217
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Orthopaedics and Traumatology
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Congestion
  • Edema
  • Flap
  • Lower limb
  • Negative pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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