Clinical evaluation of axial pattern skin flaps in dogs and cats: 19 cases (1981-1990)

Peter B. Trevor From the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, VA 24061 (Trevor, Smith, Waldron) and the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (Hedlund).

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Mark M. Smith From the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, VA 24061 (Trevor, Smith, Waldron) and the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (Hedlund).

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Don R. Waldron From the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, VA 24061 (Trevor, Smith, Waldron) and the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (Hedlund).

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Cheryl S. Hedlund From the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, VA 24061 (Trevor, Smith, Waldron) and the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (Hedlund).

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Summary

Nineteen axial pattern skin flaps were used in 16 dogs and cats to provide skin for repair of extensive cutaneous defects. Retrospective evaluation of medical records was used to determine percentage flap survival, postoperative complications, and long-term outcome of axial pattern skin flaps. The most common indication for use of axial pattern flaps was to augment wound closure following tumor resection (n = 7). Other indications included trauma (n = 5), chronic nonhealing wounds (n = 4), urine-induced cellulitis (n = 1), idiopathic dermal necrosis (n = 1), and chronic lymphoplasmocytic dermatitis (n = 1). Mean flap survival (± sd) was 96% (± 8). Postoperative complications included wound drainage (n = 15), partial dehiscence of the sutured flap (n = 7), distal flap necrosis (n = 6), infection (n = 3), edema (n = 3), and seroma formation (n = 2). After a median follow-up time of 5 months, evaluation of animals indicated that surgery provided successful wound reconstruction with good cosmetic results. Reconstruction of large cutaneous defects is facilitated by axial pattern flap application regardless of cause of wound. Postoperative complications are common but amenable to standard wound management techniques such as drain placement and surgical debridement of devitalized distal flap skin.

Summary

Nineteen axial pattern skin flaps were used in 16 dogs and cats to provide skin for repair of extensive cutaneous defects. Retrospective evaluation of medical records was used to determine percentage flap survival, postoperative complications, and long-term outcome of axial pattern skin flaps. The most common indication for use of axial pattern flaps was to augment wound closure following tumor resection (n = 7). Other indications included trauma (n = 5), chronic nonhealing wounds (n = 4), urine-induced cellulitis (n = 1), idiopathic dermal necrosis (n = 1), and chronic lymphoplasmocytic dermatitis (n = 1). Mean flap survival (± sd) was 96% (± 8). Postoperative complications included wound drainage (n = 15), partial dehiscence of the sutured flap (n = 7), distal flap necrosis (n = 6), infection (n = 3), edema (n = 3), and seroma formation (n = 2). After a median follow-up time of 5 months, evaluation of animals indicated that surgery provided successful wound reconstruction with good cosmetic results. Reconstruction of large cutaneous defects is facilitated by axial pattern flap application regardless of cause of wound. Postoperative complications are common but amenable to standard wound management techniques such as drain placement and surgical debridement of devitalized distal flap skin.

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