J Reconstr Microsurg 2018; 34(04): 277-292
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1621724
Original Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Meta-analysis of Timing for Microsurgical Free-Flap Reconstruction for Lower Limb Injury: Evaluation of the Godina Principles

Siba Haykal
1  Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2  Division of Plastic Surgery, Albany Medical Centre, Albany, New York
,
Mélissa Roy
1  Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
,
Ashit Patel
2  Division of Plastic Surgery, Albany Medical Centre, Albany, New York
› Author Affiliations
Funding No funding was obtained for this review.
Further Information

Publication History

13 September 2017

19 November 2017

Publication Date:
02 February 2018 (online)

Abstract

Background In 1986, Marko Godina published his seminal work regarding the timing of free-flap reconstruction for traumatic extremity defects. Early reconstruction, compared with delayed and late reconstruction resulted in significant decreases in free-flap failure rate, post-operative infections, hospitalization time, bone healing time, and number of additional anesthesias. The objective of this manuscript was to evaluate whether these principles continue to apply.

Methods A meta-analysis was performed analyzing articles from Medline, Embase, and Pubmed. Four hundred and ninety-two articles were screened, and 134 articles were assessed for eligibility. Following full-text review, 43 articles were included in this study.

Results The exact timing for free-flap reconstruction, free-flap failure rate, infection rate, and follow-up was defined in all 43 articles. Early free-flap reconstruction was found to have significantly lower rates of free-flap failure and infection in comparison to delayed reconstruction (p = 0.008; p = 0.0004). Compared with late reconstruction, early reconstruction was found to have significantly lower infection rates only (p = 0.01) with no difference in free-flap failures rates. Early reconstruction was found to lead to fewer additional procedures (p = 0.03). No statistical significance was found for bone healing time or hospitalization time.

Conclusion Early free-flap reconstruction performed within the first 72 hours resulted in a decreased rate of free-flap failures, infection, and additional procedures with no difference in other parameters. The largest majority of free flaps continue to be performed in a delayed time frame.

Disclosure

The authors have no financial disclosure.