The success of salvage procedures for failing digital replants: A retrospective cohort study
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BACKGROUND: The success of salvage procedures for failing digital replants (FR) is poorly documented. We sought to evaluate the success of salvage procedures for FR and factors contributing to successes and failures of replants. METHODS: Adult patients who presented to our center between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2015, suffered ≥1 digital amputation(s), and underwent digital replantation were included. Preoperative, perioperative, and postoperative details were recorded. Digits were monitored postoperatively via nursing and physician assessments. The presumed reason for failure, details, and outcomes of salvage attempts were recorded for FR. Length of hospital stay and complications were also recorded. RESULTS: Fifty-two patients and 83 digits were included. Fifty-two digits (63%) were compromised (arterial ischemia in 15 digits; venous congestion in 37 digits) and 48 digits had salvage therapy. Twenty-one FR (44%) were salvaged via operative (1 of 2; 50%), nonoperative (19 of 43; 44%), and combined (1 of 3; 33%) therapies. FR patients were more likely than those with successful replants to receive a blood transfusion (52 vs. 23%; p = .009) with more transfused units (3.45 ± 3.30 vs. 0.86 ± 0.95; p = .001). Length of stay was prolonged for FR patients (9 [range: 2-22] vs. 7 [range: 3-19] days; p = .039). Ultimately, 59% (49 of 83) of replants were successful, where 25% (21 of 83) were successfully salvaged. CONCLUSION: Nonoperative and operative salvage therapies improve the rate of replant survival. We suggest close postoperative monitoring of all replants and active salvage interventions for compromised replants in the postoperative period.
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