Comparison of Postoperative Complications in Patients Undergoing Limb Salvage Reconstructive Surgery Based on Estimated Prevalence of Preexisting Peripheral Arterial Disease.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-27-2023

Publication Title

Annals of plastic surgery

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Limb salvage after lower extremity (LE) trauma requires optimal blood flow for successful microsurgical reconstruction. Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) decreases LE perfusion, affecting wound healing. Patients who present with LE trauma may have undiagnosed PAD, particularly those with atherosclerotic risk factors. This study assesses outcomes after LE salvage in patients at risk for PAD.

METHODS: This retrospective review evaluated patients who underwent LE reconstruction at a level 1 trauma center between 2007 and 2022. Patients with a nontraumatic mechanism of injury, missing postoperative records, and unspecified race were excluded. Demographics, flap characteristics, and postoperative complications were abstracted. The prevalence of LE PAD was calculated using a validated risk assessment tool.

RESULTS: At our institution, 285 LE flaps performed on 254 patients were included in the study. Patients were categorized by prevalence of PAD, including 12 (4.7%) with high risk, 45 (17.7%) with intermediate risk, and 197 (77.6%) patients with low risk. The high-risk cohort had higher rates of partial flap necrosis (P = 0.037), flap loss (P = 0.006), and amputation (P < 0.001) compared with the low-risk group. Fewer high-risk patients achieved full ambulation compared with the low-risk (P = 0.005) cohort. Overall flap survival and limb salvage rates were 94.5% and 96.5%, respectively. Among the intermediate- and high-risk cohorts, only 50.9% of patients received a preoperative vascular assessment, and 3.8% received a vascular surgery consultation.

CONCLUSIONS: Peripheral arterial disease represents a reconstructive challenge to microvascular surgeons. Patients with high-risk for PAD had higher rates of partial flap necrosis, flap loss, and amputation. In the setting of trauma, emphasis should be placed on preoperative vascular assessment for patients at risk of having undiagnosed PAD. Prospective studies collecting ankle-brachial index assessments and/or angiography will help validate this study's findings.

DOI

10.1097/SAP.0000000000003732

ISSN

1536-3708

PubMed ID

38170990

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