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Use of Antibiotic-Impregnated Absorbable Beads and Tissue Coverage of Complex Wounds

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The treatment of complex wounds is commonplace for plastic surgeons. Standard management is debridement of infected and devitalized tissue and systemic antibiotic therapy. In cases where vital structures are exposed within the wound, coverage is obtained with the use of vascularized tissue using both muscle and fasciocutaneous flaps. The use of nondissolving polymethylmethacrylate and absorbable antibiotic-impregnated beads has been shown to deliver high concentrations of antibiotics with low systemic levels of the same antibiotic. We present a multicenter retrospective review of all cases that used absorbable antibiotic-impregnated beads for complex wound management from 2003 to 2013. A total of 104 cases were investigated, flap coverage was used in 97 cases (93.3%). Overall, 15 patients (14.4%) required reoperation with the highest groups involving orthopedic wounds and sternal wounds. The advantages of using absorbable antibiotic-impregnated beads in complex infected wounds have been demonstrated with minimal disadvantages. The utilization of these beads is expanding to a variety of complex infectious wounds requiring high concentrations of local antibiotics.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Staten Island University Hospital, Staten Island, New York, USA

Publication date: November 1, 2016

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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