The role of non-enhanced angiography in toe tip transfer with small diameter pedicle

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Background:Toe tip transfer allows functional and esthetic reconstruction of the lost fingertip, but it is still uncommon because identification and dissection of donor and recipient veins can be challenging. Nonenhanced angiography (NEA) is a device that emits infrared light at a wavelength of 850 nm, which is exclusively absorbed by hemoglobin. The light penetrates the bones and other soft tissues, effectively visualizing veins in real time. The aim of this report is to present the experience on the preoperative use of nonenhanced angiography for visualization of donor and recipient veins in toe tip transfers in a series of patients.Patients and Methods:Four cases of toe tip transfer and one case of free nail flap were performed for reconstruction of the tips of thumb and finger with preoperative examination using NEA. Patients' age ranged from 29 to 52 years old (average, 29.2 years old). Before the operation, the veins in the donor and recipient sites were marked using NEA, and the blood flow of the veins in the recipient site was confirmed.Results:Pedicles in all transferred toe tips were less than 2 cm in length, with diameters smaller than 0.8 mm. The postoperative courses were uneventful, and all transferred toe tips survived completely, with satisfying functional and aesthetic results.Conclusions:NEA may facilitate venous dissection of the donor and the recipient sites, allowing safe and efficient toe tip transfer with a small pedicle. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Microsurgery 35:364–369, 2015.

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