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Ehrl, Denis; Heidekrüger, Paul I.; Ninkovic, Milomir; Broer, P. Niclas (2018): Impact of Duration of Perioperative Ischemia on Outcomes of Microsurgical Reconstructions. In: Journal of Reconstructive Microsurgery, Vol. 34, No. 5: pp. 321-326
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Background Free tissue transfers have become routine for a variety of reconstructive purposes. During the time of transfer, some period of ischemia time is unavoidable, causing structural and metabolic changes. This study aimed to evaluate whether length of intraoperative ischemia affects the outcomes of microsurgical reconstructions. Methods Within a 7-year period, 638 patients having undergone 690 microvascular free flap reconstructions fulfilled inclusion criteria for this study. The data were retrospectively screened for patients' demographics, intra- and perioperative details, flap survival, surgical complications, and outcomes. The cases were divided into two groups according to the length of intraoperative ischemia time, < 60 versus 60 minutes. Results Both groups were comparable regarding the patient constellation, comorbidities, smoking status, and perioperative characteristics. Operative times were significantly longer in patients which had ischemia times of60 minutes ( p <0.05). Also, during our 3-month follow-up period, a significantly higher rate of major and minor surgical complications, including total and partial flap losses, as well as higher revision rates occurred in the60 minutes ischemia time group ( p <0.05). Conclusion In this study, prolonged ischemia time during free flap reconstructions was associated with higher rates of revision surgeries and complications rates.