Plastic Surgery Research Council
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Presenter: Kyle Sanniec, MHA, MA
Co-Authors: Swanson S; Casey WJ; Schwartz A; Bryant L; Rebecca A
Mayo Clinic Arizona

Introduction: The most effective management of a patient with sarcoma is surgical resection. Often the resection is performed, the wound is irradiated, adjuvant chemotherapy is administered and the wound is closed without plastic surgery consultation. Wound complications, following these treatment protocols, often require plastic surgery involvement and the treatment may require more advanced reconstructive techniques with higher rates of complications than if involvement occurred earlier.

Methods: A retrospective review of all patients who underwent sarcoma excision from 2001-2011 was performed. Factors such as tumor size, radiation, chemotherapy, delayed reconstruction (>3 weeks) and immediate reconstruction (<3 weeks) were analyzed for their correlation with wound complications or flap loss.

Results: A total of 127 patients underwent sarcoma resection. Wound complications occurred in 49 (38%) patients. All 15 delayed reconstructions had a wound complication, whereas only 11 (37%) of immediate reconstructions had a wound complication. Wound complications with tissue excision less than 500 grams occurred in 18 (26%) patients and occurred in 31 (54%) patients with excision greater than 500 grams. Seventy-two patients underwent radiation with a wound complication rate of 46% compared with 29% for patients who were not radiated. Chemotherapy was used in 35 patients with a wound complication rate of 49%.

Conclusion: The most predictive factor of having a sarcoma complication is whether the procedure was a delayed or immediate reconstruction. Greater than 500 grams of tissue excised was associated with significantly higher complication rates and was the second most predictive factor for having a wound complication. Other aspects of sarcoma treatment that may be correlated with higher incidence of wound complications are radiation and the use of adjuvant chemotherapy. Early plastic surgery involvement can help with preoperative planning and reduce the complication rates in patients with sarcoma resection.

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