Tissue expansion of the lower limb: complications in a cohort of 103 cases.
Over 10 years we performed 103 skin-expansion procedures and placed 207 prostheses on lower limbs, using the same surgical protocol. In 83 cases (80.6%) the expansion was achieved without complications. We recorded 20 complications in all (19.4%). Major complications included sepsis, damage due to undermining, exposure of the prosthesis and necrosis of the flap in 16 cases (15.5%), resulting in complete failure of the method in five cases (4.9%). In all, nine patients had septic complications (8.7% of the patients and 45% of the complications), five had exposure of the prosthesis and two had skin necrosis after expansion. Infection and skin necrosis, which are the main causes of failure of this method, can be prevented by a strict surgical protocolcovering all stages of the procedure. Atraumatic undermining, remote and external valves, suction drains in the cavities, advancement flaps and plaster casts after surgery can help to prevent skin necrosis. A separate and remote approach for each prosthesis can prevent infection of all the prostheses and complete failure of the expansion procedure.
Casanova, D; Bali, D; Bardot, J; Legre, R; Magalon, G
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