The Effect of Omeprazole Usage on the Viability of Random Pattern Skin Flaps in Rats

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Necrosis of random pattern flaps caused by inadequate blood flow, especially in the distal part of the flap is one of the biggest challenges in reconstructive surgery. Various agents have been used to prevent flap ischemia. In this study, we used omeprazole, which is a potent inhibitor of gastric acidity to increase flap viability.


In this study, 35 Wistar-Albino type rats which were divided into 5 equal groups were used. Random-pattern dorsal skin flaps were raised in all groups at seventh day of the study. Group 1 was accepted as control group, and the rats in this group was only given distilled water intraperitoneally for 14 days. Group 2 and group 3 received 10 and 40 mg/kg omeprazole daily for 14 days, respectively. Group 4 and group 5 were given distilled water for the first 7 days and then after the operations they received 10 and 40 mg/kg omeprazole daily for 7 days, respectively. Survival rates of the flaps were examined seventh day after elevation of the flaps by digital imaging and scintigraphy. After assessment of the amount of necrosis, number of vascular structures were counted histopathologically.


Percentage of flap necrosis was found to be less in all omeprazole received groups. On digital imaging, percentages of flap necrosis in the study groups were statistically significantly lower than that of the control group (P < 0.001), but there was no significant difference between the study groups (P > 0.05).


In the histopathologic specimens, it was detected that the mean number of vessels in proximal (a) and distal (c) portions of the flap in the study groups showed a significant increase when compared with the control group (P < 0.01 for groups 2, 4 and 5, and P < 0.05 for group 3).


In conclusion, possible clinical usage of medications increasing gastrin during flap surgeries can be thought as a positive contributor. In this sense, this study showed that parenteral administration of omeprazole in skin flap surgery increases flap viability possibly by increasing gastrin levels.

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