Negative pressure wound therapy for the management of flaps with venous congestion
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PURPOSE: The aim of this report is to evaluate the utility of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) for rescuing flaps with venous congestion not attributable to a mechanical etiology and that cannot be surgically salvaged. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 12 patients suffered from partial or total flap congestion after pedicle or free-flap reconstruction was included. All patients underwent NPWT between 3 and 10 days postoperatively. RESULTS: All congested flaps survived after the application of NPWT. Nine patients suffered partial flap loss and this was addressed through debridement of the devitalized tissue and primary closure. Three patients required blood transfusions during the course of their management. All patients presented complete coverage of the defects without further problems in the flaps after the treatment. CONCLUSION: NPWT may be considered an alternative management strategy for flaps, which has undergone venous congestion not due to a mechanical cause. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Microsurgery 36:467-473, 2016.
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