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Indications, outcomes and complications with axial pattern flaps in dogs and cats

E. J. Field, G. Kelly, D. Pleuvry, J. Demetriou, S. J. Baines

AXIAL pattern flaps (APFs) are widely used in veterinary surgery to repair skin defects. This study aimed to determine the indications, frequency of complications and long-term outcomes associated with APFs used to repair wound defects in cats and dogs.

Medical records of dogs or cats which had undergone an APF between 1994 and 2010, from two independent referral centres, were used in the study. Seventy-three animals were included (49 dogs and 24 cats). The indications for using APFs were chronic wounds (59 per cent), and closure following tumour resection (41 per cent). The median time from development of the wound to performing an APF was 27 days. The APFs used in this study were thoracodorsal, caudal superficial epigastric, reverse saphenous conduit, superficial brachial, deep circumflex iliac, superficial cervical, caudal auricular, lateral thoracic, cranial superficial epigastric, genicular and superficial temporal.

Postoperative complications occurred in 64 patients (89 per cent). Of these, 22 animals required a second surgery, and three needed more than two surgeries. The complications seen were dehiscence, swelling of the flap, necrosis, infection, discharge and seroma. In the majority of patients, …

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