SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

Background: No consensus exists among microsurgeons regarding the role of intravenous (IV) heparin in digital replantation/revascularization. The current experience of the Provincial Replantation Center in Quebec was reviewed over a 4-year period. Methods: An initial retrospective review of all revascularized or reimplanted digits at our Replantation Center from April 2004 to April 2006 was conducted. Then, data of all patients treated at our center from January 08 to September 08 were prospectively collected. The two cohorts were compared with regards to demographics, injury characteristics, postoperative thromboprophylaxis medication as well as complication and success rates. Proportions were compared using χ2 tests/Fisher's exact tests. Multivariate analysis was conducted with logistic regression. Results: 175 digits were treated from April 2004 to April 2006, including 104 revascularizations and 71 amputations. IV heparin was used in 35.1% of the cases and was associated with a 3.59-fold (95% CI, 1.55–8.31) increase risk of developing a complication compared with cases where heparin was not used (P = 0.001). In 2008, 106 digits were treated. IV heparin was used in 14.6% of the cases and was not significantly associated with a higher complication rate compared with cases where heparin was not used (P = 0.612). Both cohorts' success rates were very similar (P = 0.557). The number of complications decreased from the first period (20.5%) to the second one (12.8%). Conclusion: Routine use of IV heparin following digital replantation and revascularization is not warranted. Surgical technique and type of injury remains the most important predictors for success in these complex procedures. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Microsurgery 2011.