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Surgical Approaches to Recipient Vessels of the Fore- and HindLimbs for Microvascular Free Tissue Transfer in Dogs

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Objective

To develop and evaluate surgical approaches to the arteries and veins of the fore- and hindlimbs for use as potential recipient vessels for free tissue transfer. Study Design

Experimental anatomic study. Sample Population

Canine cadavers (11): 2 preserved and 9 fresh cadavers. Methods

Fore- and hindlimbs from 1 preserved cadaver injected with a pigmented silicone/barium mixture, through the common carotid artery and external jugular vein, were cut in 1 cm cross-sections. Tissue sections were used to identify the location of vessels >1 mm that could be used as recipient vessels for free tissue transfer. The other preserved cadaver was used to develop surgical approaches to these vessels. Three surgeons evaluated the written descriptions and illustrations for these approaches using fresh cadavers. Modifications to the surgical approaches were made based on recommendations from these surgeons. Results

Six approaches were developed to isolate forelimb recipient vessels: palmar access, distal medial antebrachial, mid-antebrachial, proximal antebrachial, distal humeral, and mid-humeral vascular access. Twelve approaches were developed to isolate recipient vessels of the hindlimb: plantar access, dorsal tarsal, cranial distal tibial, craniomedial distal tibial, lateral distal tibial, medial distal tibial, medial femorotibial, lateral distal femoral, medial femoral, proximal medial femoral, groin, and proximal lateral femoral vascular access. Conclusions

Six forelimb and 12 hindlimb sites were identified for surgical access to recipient vessels (>1 mm diameter) suitable for use in free tissue transfer for wound reconstruction. Clinical Relevance

For reconstruction of complex wounds of the extremities of dogs, surgeons should consider use of readily accessible recipient vessels that would allow for free tissue transfer to the fore- and hindlimbs.
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Keywords: dog; forelimb; hindlimb; microvascular free tissue transfer; recipient vessels; reconstructive surgery; wound repair

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2005

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