Although there are indications that flap viability depends on venous outflow, only few publications deal with this subject. The studies that have been published refer only to macroscopic flap necrosis. We investigated various venous situations following free tissue transfer under baseline conditions and after moderate (1 h) and severe (8 h) secondary arterial ischemia. The flaps investigated were from the abdomen of male Sprague-Dawley rats ( n =90). Venous outflow and the underlying flap metabolism were measured (lactate, pH, pO 2 , pCO 2 ). Although there was no significant difference in flap viability (survival area/original area) macroscopically, significant changes in venous outflow, lactate, and pH were found depending on modifications of the venous system. It can be concluded that free flap microcirculation is affected to a high degree by variations in venous outflow. The optimal venous drainage for different flaps needs further study.
European Journal of Plastic Surgery – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 1, 2003
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