Complications of Post-Burn Tissue Expansion Reconstruction: 9 Years Experience with 42 Pediatric and 26 Adult Patients.

Abstract

BACKGROUND Burn scar reconstruction is extremely challenging, even for the most proficient reconstructive surgeon. Within the arsenal of tools at the plastic surgeon's disposal, tissue expansion provides an efficient modality for reconstruction despite the reported complication rates. OBJECTIVES To critically review our experience with tissue expansion for burn scar reconstruction, comparing particularly the adult and pediatric populations. METHODS We conducted a retrospective study of the outcomes of patients who underwent burn scar reconstruction with tissue expansion at Hadassah Medical Center between January 2003 and July 2012. The data included patient age, anatomical site of expansion, number of procedures, and associated complications. The outcomes of the above-mentioned populations were also compared with those in a control group of patients undergoing reconstruction with tissue expansion for indications other than burn scars. RESULTS Sixty-seven tissue expansion procedures were carried out in 50 patients, 42 in the pediatric population (< 16 years of age) and 25 in the adult population. Complications were observed in 10 of the 42 pediatric procedures (23.8%) and in 3 of the 25 adult procedures (12%). This difference was found to be statistically significant. When the complication rate for each population was compared to its control group (tissue expansion for indications other than burn scar reconstruction, such as reconstruction for motor vehicle accident scarring, congenital nevi, or vascular malformations), no statistically significant difference was found between them (complication rates 19.8% and 12.5%, respectively). Furthermore, there was no statistically significant difference in complication rates between the different anatomical areas of expansion within both populations undergoing burn scar reconstruction. Most of the complicated cases completed successful reconstruction. CONCLUSIONS Tissue expansion is a useful surgical tool in post-burn scar reconstruction, both in the adult and pediatric populations and in all anatomic sites, despite consistently high complication rates, especially in the pediatric population. This complication rate is not higher than in patients undergoing tissue expansion for indications other than burn scar reconstruction.

Cite this paper

@article{Margulis2017ComplicationsOP, title={Complications of Post-Burn Tissue Expansion Reconstruction: 9 Years Experience with 42 Pediatric and 26 Adult Patients.}, author={Alexander R. Margulis and Allan Billig and Jhonatan Elia and Yair Shachar and N. T. Adler}, journal={The Israel Medical Association journal : IMAJ}, year={2017}, volume={19 2}, pages={100-104} }