Skin or tissue flaps may be used to reconstruct a wound caused by trauma or cancer surgery. Certain risk factors can increase the risk of complications and/or flap failure.


General risk factors for complications:

(1) cigarette smoking, especially if > 10 pack years

(2) malnutrition

(3) obesity (increased complications at donor site)

(4) general debility from other comorbid conditions

(5) irradiation of implantation site

(6) vascular disease in vessels leading to recipient site (poor perfusion)

(7) infection

(8) treatment with high dose corticosteroids


Risk factors associated with flaps with vascular pedicle:

(1) thrombosis of vessels for the flap

(2) venous congestion at the recipient site

(3) hematoma at recipient site

(4) problem in microsurgical technique


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