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J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2009 Jun;62(6):764-70. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2007.09.064. Epub 2008 Apr 14.

Successful composite graft for fingertip amputations using ice-cooling and lipo-prostaglandin E1.

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Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, DongGuk University International Hospital, Ilsan, South Korea.


In distal fingertip amputations where microanastomosis may not be possible, composite grafting might offer the possibility of maintaining digital length and function using the patient's own tissue. Many trials such as ice-cooling, pharmacologic enhancement and hyperbaric oxygenation have been reported to improve the survival rate of the composite graft. Twenty-four cases of unreplantable fingertip amputation were classified as types I to III according to the level of injury. We performed the composite grafting followed by immediate ice-cooling for 2 weeks and intravenous lipo-prostaglandin E(1) (lipo-PGE(1)) injection for 8.8 days each on average. Twenty-two fingertips in 24 patients survived completely with acceptable appearance and sensibility over the 8 month follow-up period. Confirming that therapeutic angiogenesis using ice-cooling and lipo-PGE(1) can increase the survival rate of the composite graft in unreplantable fingertip amputation, we describe the procedures and postoperative care in detail.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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