Is There an Association between Comorbidities and the Outcome of Microvascular Free Tissue Transfer?


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Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the relevant conditions for safe free flap transfers. The authors retrospectively studied the data from 150 patients who received free flaps at a single institution. Many parameters were analyzed to reveal if there was a correlation with respect to surgical or medical complications. Regarding safety of free tissue transfer, we found a worse prognosis in flaps where a revision of the microanastomosis had to be performed. Platelet count and leukocyte count had an impact on the prognosis. Patients older than 60 years did not have an increased rate of surgical complications. Apart from active osteomyelitis, the presence of comorbid conditions did not significantly impair the outcome of flap transfer, although smoking and diabetes correlated with minor surgical complications like wound breakdown or hematoma, respectively. Besides one case of lethal heart failure of an octogenarian patient, no severe medical complications occurred in this series of patients. Microvascular free tissue transfer is not significantly impaired by age and most comorbidities. Osteomyelitis as well as elevated leukocytes and lowered platelets may increase the complication rate and worsen the surgical prognosis. Smoking and diabetes might prolong the hospital course of the patients.

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