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Indications, complications, and outcomes associated with subdermal plexus skin flap procedures in dogs and cats: 92 cases (2000–2017)

Coleen A. Jones1Queen Mother Hospital for Animals, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, Hatfield, AL9 7TA, England.

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Victoria J. Lipscomb1Queen Mother Hospital for Animals, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, Hatfield, AL9 7TA, England.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe indications, complications, and outcomes associated with subdermal plexus skin flap (SPSF) procedures in dogs and cats.

ANIMALS

53 dogs and 20 cats that received SPSFs for reconstruction of skin defects from 2000 to 2017.

PROCEDURES

Medical record data were collected and summarized regarding patient signalment, indication for the SPSF procedure, type and location of SPSF, complications, and outcome.

RESULTS

92 SPSF procedures (64 in dogs and 28 in cats) were included. Indications for the procedures included tumor excision (n = 37 [40%]), acute wound (14 [15%]) or chronic wound (28 [30%]) reconstruction, surgical scar revision (7 [8%]), and other reasons (6 [7%]). Types of SPSFs included advancement (31 [34%]), axillary fold (20 [22%]), inguinal fold (20 [22%]), rotation (16 [17%]), transposition (3 [3%]), and distant direct (2 [2%]). Complications were noted for 47 (51%) procedures at a mean ± SD of 6.9 ± 4.0 days after surgery and were classified as minor (34 [37%]) or major (13 [14%]). Outcome was considered excellent for 44 (48%) procedures, good for 33 (36%), fair for 13 (14%), and poor for 2 (2%).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested that approximately half of SPSF procedures in dogs and cats can be expected to be followed by a complication, occurring at a mean of 1 week after surgery, and yet with appropriate management of these complications, a good to excellent outcome was possible. Owners should be counseled about the likely need for additional visits and costs associated with treatment of postoperative complications.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe indications, complications, and outcomes associated with subdermal plexus skin flap (SPSF) procedures in dogs and cats.

ANIMALS

53 dogs and 20 cats that received SPSFs for reconstruction of skin defects from 2000 to 2017.

PROCEDURES

Medical record data were collected and summarized regarding patient signalment, indication for the SPSF procedure, type and location of SPSF, complications, and outcome.

RESULTS

92 SPSF procedures (64 in dogs and 28 in cats) were included. Indications for the procedures included tumor excision (n = 37 [40%]), acute wound (14 [15%]) or chronic wound (28 [30%]) reconstruction, surgical scar revision (7 [8%]), and other reasons (6 [7%]). Types of SPSFs included advancement (31 [34%]), axillary fold (20 [22%]), inguinal fold (20 [22%]), rotation (16 [17%]), transposition (3 [3%]), and distant direct (2 [2%]). Complications were noted for 47 (51%) procedures at a mean ± SD of 6.9 ± 4.0 days after surgery and were classified as minor (34 [37%]) or major (13 [14%]). Outcome was considered excellent for 44 (48%) procedures, good for 33 (36%), fair for 13 (14%), and poor for 2 (2%).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested that approximately half of SPSF procedures in dogs and cats can be expected to be followed by a complication, occurring at a mean of 1 week after surgery, and yet with appropriate management of these complications, a good to excellent outcome was possible. Owners should be counseled about the likely need for additional visits and costs associated with treatment of postoperative complications.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Lipscomb (vlipscomb@rvc.ac.uk).