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Postoperative Monitoring Of Free Flaps In UK Plastic Surgery Units.

N. Jallali, H. Ridha, P. Butler
Published 2005 · Medicine

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Monitoring free-tissue transfers in the postoperative period is valuable for detection of failing flaps. As well as conventional methods, a myriad of sophisticated techniques have been reported in the literature. Using a postal questionnaire, a survey was conducted to delineate current protocols employed in UK plastic surgery units. Data were received from 148 plastic surgeons in 51 units. All surgeons used clinical assessment, although there was significant disparity in the duration and frequency of postoperative monitoring. Adjuvant techniques such as laser Doppler flowmetry were routinely used by less than 20% of surgeons. We conclude that there is considerable variation in postoperative monitoring of free flaps, with significant clinical and resource implications. A protocol based on robust evidence is thus recommended.
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