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Revista do Hospital das Clínicas

On-line version ISSN 1678-9903


CUNHA, Marcelo Sacramento et al. Tissue expander complications in plastic surgery: a 10-year experience. Rev. Hosp. Clin. [online]. 2002, vol.57, n.3, pp.93-97. ISSN 1678-9903.

INTRODUCTION: Tissue expanders have been of great value in plastic surgery. Tissue expansion was developed for a specific indication; however, within a very short time, the concept of tissue expansion found wide applicability. From 1990 to 1999, 315 expanders in 164 patients were utilized. A retrospective analysis of complications and prognostic factors for complications were done. METHODS: The indications for tissue expansion were burns (50%), trauma (32%), and sequelae of previous surgery (8.8%). The expanders were inserted most frequently in the scalp, trunk and neck. RESULTS: There were 22.2% of complications and the most common were expander exposure (50%), infection (24%) and bad function of the expander (12.8%). The present study revealed an increased rate of minor complications in the group of 0 to 10 years of age and an increased rate of major complications for face and neck expansions compared to trunk expansion. There were no increased complication rates for the other age and anatomic site groups, previous expansion, concomitant expansion and type of expander used. CONCLUSIONS: The outcomes from tissue expansion procedures done in our hospital are similar to those reported in the literature. Tissue expansion is a good and safe technique.

Keywords : Tissue expansion; Tissue expander; Expansion complication; Expanded flap.

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