The Timing of Neovascularization in Fingertip Replantation by External Bleeding

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To overcome venous congestion in fingertip replantation with no venous anastomosis, the authors have used a salvage procedure that consists of continuous external bleeding through a stab incision on the paraungual area and dripping a heparinized saline solution at the incision site to maintain external bleeding. Because this method requires continuous bleeding for a certain period of time, it may be a great burden on the patient; therefore, it is most important to minimize the duration of bleeding. Many authors have studied the timing of the new venous channel formation of the flap. However, to our knowledge, a study on fingertip replantations has not yet been performed. From June of 1985 to November of 1999, the authors performed fingertip replantations on 144 fingers of 137 patients using our salvage procedure at Korea University Guro Hospital. Among the 144 fingers, 101 fingers of 96 patients were successfully transplanted, including those with partial necrosis. The authors reviewed the medical records of these 101 fingers retrospectively; they compared and analyzed the necessary duration of external bleeding according to sex, age, level of injury, cause of amputation, and the type of injury. The average period of the salvage procedure was 7.6 days. Regarding age, the shortest period (5.5 days) was required for patients younger than 10 years. On the basis of the types of injuries, the duration of bleeding was shortest for the guillotine injury group (5.9 days) compared with crush (8.2 days) or avulsion (8.0 days) injuries. Sex and level of injury did not make much difference in the duration of the procedure. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 110: 1042, 2002.)

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