Updates in Traumatic Lower Extremity Free Flap Reconstruction
Lower extremity reconstruction, particularly in the setting of trauma, remains one of the most challenging tasks for the plastic surgeon. Advances in wound management and microsurgical techniques in conjunction with long-term outcomes studies have expanded possibilities for limb salvage, but many aspects of management have continued to rely on principles set forth by Gustilo and Godina in the 1980s. The purpose of this article is to provide a comprehensive update on the various management aspects of traumatic lower extremity microvascular reconstruction based on the latest evidence, with an examination of recent publications.
Perioperative Medication Management in Elective Plastic Surgery Procedures
BACKGROUND:Perioperative medication management is vital to maintain patient safety while under anesthesia, as well as to avoid postoperative complications. Plastic surgeons make daily decisions on whether to ask a patient to stop taking medication before their surgery. These important decisions can affect bleeding risk, wound healing, and interactions with anesthetics, which can range from minor to life-threatening. Current plastic surgery literature lacks a comprehensive review of perioperative medication management, with existing reports focusing on specific procedures and specific medication classes. METHODS:A PubMed database search was conducted for articles through July 2021. The bibliographies of included studies were also examined for articles not acquired in the initial search queries. The authors included studies on medication usage and perioperative guidance in patients undergoing elective plastic surgery procedures. The authors excluded studies unrelated to plastic surgery and studies where the medications were used as an intervention. Abstracts, animal studies, studies involving the pediatric population, and book chapters were also excluded, as well as articles not published in English. RESULTS:A total of 801 papers were identified by our search terms. After title and abstract screening, 35 papers were selected for full-text review. After full-text review, 20 papers were selected for inclusion, with an additional 6 papers from cited references added. Of the 26 papers, 6 papers discussed psychotropic drugs, 6 papers discussed medications affecting hemostasis, 4 papers discussed hormone-containing medications, 3 papers discussed antilipid medications, 2 papers discussed antihypertensive medications, 2 papers discussed herbal supplements, 1 paper discussed both psychotropic and herbal supplements, 1 paper discussed medications affecting wound healing, and 1 paper discussed rheumatologic medications. A summary of those recommendations was then compiled together. CONCLUSIONS:The perioperative medication management in elective plastic surgery procedures remains a complex and multidisciplinary process. It is important to manage these patients in a case-by-case manner and to consult a specialist when necessary. Careful medication reconciliation is essential to decrease the likelihood of adverse outcomes and interactions with perioperative anesthetics.
The First Successful Combined Full Face and Bilateral Hand Transplant
BACKGROUND:Vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA) has redefined the frontiers of plastic and reconstructive surgery. At the cutting edge of this evolving paradigm, we present the first successful combined full face and bilateral hand transplant (FT-BHT). METHODS:A 21-year-old man with sequelae of an 80% total body surface area burn injury sustained following a motor vehicle accident presented for evaluation. The injury included full face and bilateral upper extremity composite tissue defects, resulting in reduced quality of life and loss of independence. Multidisciplinary evaluation confirmed eligibility for combined FT-BHT. The operative approach was validated through 11 cadaveric rehearsals utilizing computerized surgical planning. Institutional review board and organ procurement organization approvals were obtained. The recipient, his caregiver, and the donor family consented to the procedure. RESULTS:Combined full face (eyelids, ears, nose, lips, and skeletal subunits) and bilateral hand transplantation (forearm level) was performed over 23 hours on August 12-13th, 2020. Triple induction and maintenance immunosuppressive therapy and infection prophylaxis were administered. Plasmapheresis was necessary postoperatively. Minor revisions were performed over seven subsequent operations, including five left upper extremity, seven right upper extremity, and seven facial secondary procedures. At eight months, the patient is approaching functional independence and remains free of acute rejection. He has significantly improved range of motion, motor power, and sensation of the face and hand allografts. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Combined FT-BHT is feasible. This is the most comprehensive VCA procedure successfully performed to date, marking a new milestone in plastic and reconstructive surgery for patients with otherwise irremediable injuries.
COVID-19: Perspectives from Students Pursuing Plastic Surgery
Hematoma After Non-Oncologic Breast Procedures: A Comprehensive Review of the Evidence
BACKGROUND:Hematoma after non-oncologic breast surgery is a common concern requiring expeditious treatment. The purpose of this study is to perform an evidence-based review of perioperative factors that may contribute to hematoma in non-oncologic breast procedures. METHODS:A comprehensive literature review was performed of non-oncologic breast procedures: breast augmentation, single-stage augmentation-mastopexy, mastopexy, and reduction. In total, 28 studies highlighting incidence and potential risk factors for hematoma were included; overall level of evidence was established regarding each perioperative factor examined and hematoma rate. RESULTS:The hematoma rate in breast augmentation ranges from 0.2 to 5.7%. There is inconclusive evidence to support an association between pocket choice or incision location and hematoma rate (Level III) and no evidence of an association between implant type and hematoma (Level V). Single-stage augmentation-mastopexy may have a lower hematoma rate than augmentation alone (Level II). Hematoma may increase the risk of capsular contracture (Level III). In breast reduction, the hematoma rate ranges from 1.0 to 9.3%. Evidence of an association between incision choice and hematoma rate is inconclusive (Level III). Use of epinephrine-containing solution, pedicle choice, and resection weight do not appear to affect hematoma rate (Level V, II, and II, respectively). The use of postoperative drains and ketorolac do not affect the incidence of hematoma (Level I and III, respectively). Intraoperative hypotension may increase the risk of hematoma after breast reduction (Level III). CONCLUSIONS:Breast hematomas are not uncommon complications. Current literature lacks ample evidence for risk factors for hematoma after non-oncologic breast procedures, warranting further, high-powered investigations. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE III/UNASSIGNED:This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors www.springer.com/00266 .
Interview Hoarding: Disparities in the Integrated Plastic Surgery Application Cycle in the COVID-19 Pandemic [Editorial]
Chronicling the COVID-19 pandemic through the plastic surgery literature [Letter]
Dangle protocols in lower extremity reconstruction
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:Dangling protocols are known to vary by surgeon and center, and their specific regimen is often largely based on single surgeon or institutional experience. A systematic review was conducted to derive evidence-based recommendations for dangling protocols according to patient-specific and flap-specific considerations. METHODS:A systematic review was performed using PubMed, Embase-OVID and Cochrane-CENTRAL. Study design, patient and flap characteristics, protocol details, dangling-related complications, and flap success rate were recorded. Studies were graded using the Oxford Center for Evidence-Based Medicine Levels of Evidence Scale. Data heterogeneity precluded quantitative analysis. RESULTS:Eleven articles were included (level of evidence (range):IIb-IV; N (range):8-150; age (range):6-89). Dangling initiation, time, and frequency varied considerably. Flap success rate ranged from 94 to 100%. Active smoking, diabetes, and hypertension are associated with characteristic physiologic changes that require vigilance and potential protocol modification. Early dangling appears to be safe across a variety of free flap locations, sizes, and indications. Axial fasciocutaneous flaps may tolerate more aggressive protocols than muscular flaps. While flaps with single venous anastomosis tolerate dangling, double venous or flow-through anastomoses may provide additional benefit. Major limitations included small sample sizes, uncontrolled study designs, and heterogeneous patient selection, dangling practices, monitoring methods, and outcome measures. CONCLUSIONS:Significant heterogeneity persists in postoperative dangling protocols after lower extremity microvascular reconstruction. Patient comorbidities and flap characteristics appear to affect tolerance to dangling. We propose two different standardized pathways based on risk factors. Clinical vigilance should be exercised in tailoring lower extremity protocols to patients' individual characteristics and postoperative course.
Reply to: Virtual Interviews for the 2020-2021 National Residency Matching Program During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Curse or Blessing? [Letter]
Massive, Extended Pedicled Anterolateral Thigh Flap for Abdominal Wall Reconstruction