Microanastomosis venosa mecánica coupler®. Un importante aporte tecnológico a la microcirugía vascular
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Aim: The aim of the present paper is to show the experience of the Plastic Surgery Division at the University of Chile Clinical Hospital, with the Coupler® anastomotic device (Synovis Corp, Birmingham, AL) for venous microanastomoses in patients undergoing reconstructive microsurgery. Material and Methods: A retrospective review of 48 consecutive patients with free flaps between March 2009 and in February 2013. All microsurgical venous anastomoses were performed with the Coupler® device and the arterial anastomoses with interrupted or continuous 9-0 or 10-0 nylon sutures. The collected data were: personal and medical patient information, location of the defect, flap used, vessels diameter, arterial anastomoses, Coupler® used, time of anastomosis, postoperative complications, arterial and venous thrombosis. Results: A total of 48 free flaps were performed for reconstruction of lower extremity (n = 25, 52.1%); head-neck (n = 15, 31%); breast (n = 5, 10.4%) and upper extremity (n = 3, 6.3%). The flaps used were: Anterolateral thigh or ALT (n = 25, 52.1%), Radial (n = 10, 20.8%), Deep Inferior Epigastric Artery Perforator or DIEP (n = 5, 10.4%), Latisimus Dorsi (n = 2, 4.2%), Rectus Abdominus (n = 2, 4.2%), Fibula (n = 2, 4.2%), Scapula (n = 1, 2.1%), and Gracilis (n = 1, 2.1%). The Coupler device average diameter used was 2.51 ± 0.46 mm. The average time for the venous anastomosis was 13.5 ± 7.3 minutes. A total of 4 flaps were lost (8.3%), none due to venous thrombosis. Conclusions: The Coupler® System for venous anastomoses is a safe, effective and quick method for microsurgical anastomoses, it is easy to learn and its implementation should be considered in every microvascular surgery center.
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