Emergency free tissue transfer for reconstruction of acute upper extremity wounds

W. C. Breidenbach

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The accepted method of treatment for acute, contaminated, upper extremity wounds is serial debridement and delayed closure. Emergency free tissue transfer challenges these concepts by advocating radical debridement and early closure of these wounds. The use of emergency free tissue transfer in the upper extremity allows early motion and possibly lowers the rates of infection, nonunion, flap failure, and the length of hospital stay. The decision to carry out emergency free tissue transfer is made after evaluating the patient's systemic condition and the following factors: (1) extent of debridement, (2) bacterial load, (3) fracture type, (4) anatomical location of the wound, and (5) presence of exposed vital structures. When conditions are ideal, emergency free tissue transfer may be the best choice for closure of acute, contaminated, upper extremity wounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-514
Number of pages10
JournalClinics in Plastic Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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