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Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
     Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
Official journal of the Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons         
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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 428-434

Evaluation of complication rates of free flap reconstruction in pediatric patients

1 Department of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
2 Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, USA

Correspondence Address:
Michael Alperovich
Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, Section of Plastic Surgery, 330 Cedar Street, Boardman Building, 3rd Floor, New Haven, CT 06510
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiaps.jiaps_129_21

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Introduction: While there is extensive literature investigating surgical outcomes in free flaps for adults, there is a dearth of information on the efficacy of flap use in the pediatric population. This study is the first to measure complication rates following pediatric free flap reconstruction on a national level. Methods: All pediatric free flap cases between 2012 and 2018 were identified and stratified by type of flap using current procedural terminology codes assigned to the primary procedure in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database. Each entry included the recipient location of the flap, postoperative complications, and demographics. Chi-square analysis was used to compare complication rates across various flap groupings. In addition, univariate and multivariate analyses were used to identify independent predictors of flap complications or failure. Results: Multivariate regression analysis demonstrated that compared to bone flaps, there is increased risk of nonbleeding complications in skin (Odds Ratio (OR) =7.7, P = 0.029), muscle (OR = 10.6, P = 0.012), and osteocutaneous flaps (OR = 10.8, P = 0.018). Flap of the trunk (OR = 40.9, P = 0.003) and upper extremities (OR = 32.9, P = 0.041) had a higher odds of bleeding complications compared to head-and-neck flaps. Regression analysis also showed that older age is associated with bleeding complications, with patients aged 5–11 years (OR = 38.5, P = 0.027) and 12–17 years (OR = 30.6, P = 0.038) having greater rates compared to patients under the age of 2. The pediatric flap reoperation rate was found to be 3.6%–4.7%, with the highest flap anastomotic complication rate in the head-and-neck region (6.9%–8.0%). Conclusion: Free flap reconstruction across flap type, anatomic location, and age ranges are safe and efficacious in the pediatric population.


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  2005 - Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow 

Online since 1st May '05