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Comparison of outcomes for single-session and delayed full-thickness applications of meshed skin grafts used to close skin defects after excision of tumors on the distal aspects of the limbs in dogs

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  • 1 From Veterinary Surgical Centers, Vienna, VA 22180.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare outcomes after application of full-thickness, meshed free-skin grafts in single-session versus delayed (staged) procedures after tumor excision from the distal aspects of the limbs in dogs.

ANIMALS

52 client-owned dogs.

PROCEDURES

Medical records were retrospectively reviewed to identify dogs that received full-thickness, meshed free-skin grafts after tumor excision from the distal aspects of the limbs between 2013 and 2018. Signalment; diagnostic test results; comorbidities; procedure type (single session or staged); tumor characteristics; donor site, recipient site, and size of grafts; concurrent procedures; surgeon; antimicrobial administration; external coaptation type; number of bandage applications; percentage graft survival; graft outcome; postoperative complications; and time to complete healing were recorded. Graft outcome was deemed successful if there was full-thickness graft viability over ≥ 75% of the original graft area. Variables were compared between dogs grouped by procedure type.

RESULTS

The number of bandage applications was significantly greater for dogs that had staged versus single-session procedures. Twenty-seven of 30 (90%) and 18 of 22 (82%) skin grafts placed in single-session and staged procedures, respectively, were successful. Percentage graft survival, graft outcome, and complication rate did not differ between groups. All complications were minor. Time to complete healing was significantly longer after staged procedures (median, 51 days) than after single-session procedures (29.5 days).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested both procedure types are appropriate for skin graft placement. The shorter healing time and fewer bandage changes associated with single-session skin graft placement may be beneficial after tumor excision. Prospective studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Bonaventura (ncbonaventura@vscvets.com).