Immediate and Delayed Use of Arteriovenous Fistulae in Microsurgical Flap Procedures: A Clinical Series and Review of Published Cases

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In microsurgical flap procedures, creation of an arteriovenous fistula (AVF) is a technique of vein grafting where the vein graft is connected to recipient vessels as a flow-through loop prior to harvest and inset of the flap. Controversy exists whether this technique can be used as a 2-stage procedure with the loop and flap transfer accomplished in sequential operations or if the loop and flap transfer should be performed in a single operation.We performed 12 consecutive 1-stage AVF-flap procedures, with 1 flap failure. We combined this series with previously published reports to compare outcomes of 1-stage and 2-stage procedures. We found no significant difference in flap outcomes or complication rates between the 2 strategies. We conclude from our experience and this analysis that single-stage AVF-flap procedures are the optimum application of this technique.

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