Nigerian Journal of Surgery

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Early Experiences with Microvascular Free Tissue Transfer in Lagos, Nigeria

BO Mofikoya, AO Ugburo


Objectives: Microvascular free tissue transfer within our subregion is fraught with considerable challenges. We aim to highlight our experiences gained with our first fifteen cases of microvascular free tissue transfer at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. We believe our report will be useful to colleagues embarking on such reconstructions in similar settings.

Materials and Methods: The clinical records of the first 15 cases of free flaps done at our center were reviewed. The indications for surgery, choice of flap, recipient vessels, duration of surgery and complications were noted.

Results: Fifteen cases were done, 10 flaps survived, ten defects occurred following trauma while remaining five followed cancer resections. Anterolateral thigh and radial forearm flaps were the most common flap used. The mean duration of surgeries was 7.1 hours SD ± 1.10 hours. Our take back rate was 13.3%, with a salvage rate of 50%. Three flaps failed on account venous congestion while remaining two failed due to arterial occlusion.

Conclusion: 66.67% free flap success rate recorded reflect our early experiences in our institution. We believe meticulous planning, careful vessel selection, close flap monitoring as well as improved infrastructural support can lead to much better success rates in microvascular reconstruction in our country.

Keywords: Experiences, free, tissue, transfer

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