Reconstruction of massive oncologic defects following extremity amputation: A 10-year experience

Maanasi Samant, Edward I. Chang, Jason Petrungaro, Jon P. Ver Halen, Peirong Yu, Roman J. Skoracki, David W. Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Oncologic defects resulting from extremity amputations are often extensive and require substantial soft tissue for reconstruction. Methods: A review of all patients, who underwent an external hemipelvectomy, forequarter amputation, or hindquarter amputation from 2001 to 2010 at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, was performed. Results: A total of 50 patients were identified; of them, 21 underwent external hemipelvectomy, 22 had forequarter amputation, and 7 had hindquarter amputation. The mean defect size was 644 cm 2; defects were repaired using fillet flaps (n = 22, 44%), free flaps (n = 4, 8%), or local/regional flaps (n = 24, 48%). Of the fillet flaps, 16 were free flaps and the remaining were pedicled flaps. In all, 29 patients (58%) received preoperative radiation therapy, and 26 patients (52%) received preoperative chemotherapy. Two patients (4%) received postoperative radiation therapy, and 1 patient (2%) received postoperative chemotherapy. Three patients received both pre- and postoperative radiation therapy, and 10 patients were treated with both pre- and postoperative chemotherapy. Patients undergoing free flap reconstruction had significantly fewer complications compared with patients reconstructed using other modalities (2/20 vs. 13/30; P = 0.003). The majority of patients achieved excellent postoperative function, with 73% of upper extremity patients functioning independently and 57% of lower extremity amputees ambulating. Conclusions: Reconstruction for extensive defects following oncologic extremity amputation is often optimally done using free tissue transfer, particularly by salvaging "spare parts" from the amputated limb for a free fillet flap.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-471
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Plastic Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012


  • amputation
  • fillet flaps


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