J Reconstr Microsurg 2010; 26(9): 615-622
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1267378
© Thieme Medical Publishers

The Use of the Vacuum-Assisted Closure in Microsurgical Reconstruction Revisited: Application in the Reconstruction of the Posttraumatic Lower Extremity

Steffen U. Eisenhardt1 , Arash Momeni1 , 2 , Niklas Iblher1 , Vincenzo Penna1 , Yvonne Schmidt1 , Nestor Torio1 , G. Bjoern Stark1 , Holger Bannasch1
  • 1Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery, University of Freiburg Medical Center, Freiburg, Germany
  • 2Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, California
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
04 October 2010 (online)


Introduction of vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) system into clinical practice has revolutionized wound care. Despite its multiple advantages, however, the VAC is only rarely used in the setting of microsurgical reconstruction. Concerns have been the inability to clinically monitor the flap as well the possibility of flap compression by the device. The authors put their postoperative treatment concept of applying the VAC to free flaps to the test by reviewing their experience with this concept in patients undergoing microsurgical reconstruction of posttraumatic lower-extremity soft tissue defects. Twenty-six patients (22 male, 4 female) were included in this study. Use of the implantable Doppler probe allowed for postoperative flap monitoring. Two flap failures were observed, both in patients with peripheral vascular disease. In conclusion, using the VAC device in the setting of microsurgical reconstruction is safe and allows for increased patient comfort.


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Steffen U EisenhardtM.D. 

Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery, University of Freiburg Medical Centre

Hugstetter Strasse 55, 79106 Freiburg, Germany

Email: steffen.eisenhardt@uniklinik-freiburg.de