Hand and finger replantation after protracted ischemia (more than 24 hours)

Chih-Hung Lin, Nihal Aydyn, Yu-Te Lin, Chung-Tseng Hsu, Cheng-Hung Lin, Jiun-Ting Yeh
Annals of Plastic Surgery 2010, 64 (3): 286-90
Ischemia tolerance has been a major concern during hand and finger replantation. Because of multiple referrals and damage control resuscitation, ischemia is occasionally prolonged for more than 24 hours. Amputation impairs functional efficiency in amputees; therefore, if there is a favorable indication for replantation, microsurgical replantation can be performed to salvage the function of the affected part to an acceptable extent.Between 1998 and 2006, 14 patients underwent 25 replantations after prolonged ischemia of more than 24 hours. Of the 14 patients, 12 were referred to our hospital after unsuccessful replantations and admitted to the emergency room. Two of these patients underwent thumb amputations, and 10 patients underwent multiple digit amputations. Two patients underwent wrist amputation with associated polytrauma and profound shock, both hand replantations were performed on the following day after ICU management with damage control resuscitation was performed to control excessive bleeding and stabilize vital signs.In this study, 16 replantations were successful and 9 failed; thus, the success rate was 64.0%. Several secondary procedures were required for restoring the functional ability of the reconstructed parts.Ischemia time is critical for limb salvage. Hands and fingers have very little muscle tissue. Hence, replantation of these parts can be performed even in the case of prolonged ischemia to restore the hand function.

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