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Authors McCarthy JE, Rao VK
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Journal Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open Volume: 4 Issue: 8 Pages: e1001
Publish Date 2016 Aug
PubMed ID 27622082
PMC ID 5010346

The purpose of this article is to describe the indications, operative technique, outcomes, and systematic review of the literature on the reconstruction of patients with end-stage pressure ulcers using a fillet flap technique. In this technique, the femur, tibia, and fibula are removed from the thigh and leg, and the soft tissue is used as a pedicled, or free, myocutaneous flap for reconstruction. Long-term outcomes, salient surgical technique of flap elevation, and design are detailed for patients who had a fillet of leg flap for reconstruction of extensive pressure ulcers.The indications, surgical technique, and postoperative outcomes of 5 patients who had pedicled fillet flaps are reviewed including patient age, sex, underlying comorbidities, duration of paraplegia, operative technique, and complications. A systematic review of the literature was performed searching PubMed, Cochrane Database, and Medline with the following MeSH terms: pressure ulcer, pressure sore, decubitus ulcer, fillet flap, and fillet flap. Inclusion criteria were use of a fillet technique, article data on the number of reconstructions before fillet flap, complications, and English language.Most of our patients were male 75% (n = 3) with an average age of 47.5 years, had been paralyzed for an average of 16 years, and had few medical comorbidities. Two patients (3 flaps) required hip disarticulation, 1 patient had a bilateral fillet flaps, and 3 patients had resection of tibia/fibula. After following patients for an average of 1.4 years (4 mo to 2 yr), complications were limited to 1 patient who had partial-thickness flap loss at the distal skin flap that healed by secondary intention and 1 patient who had ulcer recurrence because of noncompliance. Four articles met inclusion criteria for systematic review and 3 were excluded.The fillet of leg flap remains a useful and reliable method of reconstructing end-stage pressure ulcers.

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