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Morbidity of the pedicled groin flap. A retrospective study of 44 cases.

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  • 1Department of Hand Surgery, Malmö General Hospital, Sweden.


Forty four pedicled groin flaps, raised between 1986 and 1990 for the coverage of soft tissue defects of the hand and forearm, were retrospectively evaluated. Thirty eight (86%) were emergencies, roller injuries with skin avulsion being the main mechanism of injury. Local complications such as partial flap necrosis, infection, and seroma, developed in 11 patients (25%). Subsequent defatting was required in 38 (86%) of the flaps and four patients (9%) had secondary revisions of the donor sites. The median duration of hospital stay was 26 days (range 8-81), and 12 patients (27%) were discharged from hospital before division of the pedicle. General complications, including pneumonia (n = 2) and pulmonary embolism (n = 1) developed in five patients (11%), four of whom were 55 years old or more. One patient died of a myocardial infarction 15 days postoperatively. Our results indicate that other methods for skin coverage should be chosen for patients older than 50 years.

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