Serratus anterior free flap: A personal series and meta-analysis review
Between 1982 and 1989, three women and seven men older than 70 years of age underwent elective free-tissue transfer. Nonhealing wounds of 1 scalp, 2 upper extremities, and 7 lower extremities were covered with 3 serratus anterior, 3 latissimus dorsi, 2 gracilis, and 2 lateral arm flaps. Major coincidental medical problems included hypertension, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus, metastatic lung cancer, tachyarrhythmias, syncope, elevated liver function tests, and previous arterial bypass in the affected lower extremity. One flap failed and 2 others were compromised by venous thromboses but salvaged by reoperation. There were no major anesthetic complications. This series demonstrates that elective free-tissue transfers can be safely performed in patients older than 70 years of age.