Fingertip Replantation With Palmar Venous Anastomoses in Children

Gen Wen, Jia Xu, Yi-Min Chai
Annals of Plastic Surgery 2017, 78 (6): 692-696

BACKGROUND: Fingertip amputation in children is difficult to manage using microsurgical replantation techniques and many salvage procedures have failed owing to the nonavailability of suitable veins for anastomosis in the fingertip. This study reviewed our experience of pediatric fingertip replantation involving palmar venous anastomoses and evaluated the clinical outcomes.

METHODS: From October 2008 to May 2013, 21 pediatric fingertips that had been completely amputated at or distal to the distal interphalangeal joint of the finger, or at or distal to the interphalangeal joint of the thumb were managed using complete replantation. One artery was anastomosed for revascularization with or without nerve repair, and a palmar venous anastomosis was performed to reestablish the outflow system.

RESULTS: Twenty (95.2%) of the 21 fingertips survived. One replant involving an avulsion amputation of the left little finger failed, and the patient underwent stump cap-plasty. Excellent restoration of finger motion, pinch strength, and appearance was observed during the mean 39.9-month (range, 18-65 months) follow-up. The mean regained static 2-point discrimination sensation was 3.8 mm (range, 3.2-4.2 mm). All of the children and their families were satisfied with the surgical outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS: Successful palmar venous anastomosis appears to promote the survival of replanted fingertips in children. Given that the procedure may simplify postoperative care, minimize complications, and achieve a high survival rate, it should be attempted if the technical expertise is available.

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