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Cirugía Plástica Ibero-Latinoamericana

versión On-line ISSN 1989-2055versión impresa ISSN 0376-7892


SERRACANTA DOMENECH, Jordi et al. Application of Microsurgery in the treatment of the electric burned patient. Cir. plást. iberolatinoam. [online]. 2020, vol.46, suppl.1, pp.121-132.  Epub 22-Jun-2020. ISSN 1989-2055.

Background and objective

Microsurgery as a technique in Plastic Surgery cannot miss any burn unit for complete treatment of their patients. Especially in electric burns that have very serious lesions with exposure of noble tissues where Microsurgery is the first reconstructive option.

The objective of this paper is to show the experience of the Burn Unit of the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona, Spain, over the last 10 years in the application of Microsurgery in the burned patient of electrical etiology.


A total of 19 flaps performed between January 2010 and August 2019 in patients with electrical burn injury were reviewed retrospectively. The data collected were sex, age, location of the defect, total burned surface area (TBSA), flap used, days until coverage, type of arterial anastomosis, number of veins used, flap survival and complications.


It is noteworthy that all the 15 patients treated were male, with an average age of 36.5 years; average TBSA was 19.5%; the most frequently flap used was the antero-lateral thigh in 9 cases (47.37%), followed by the latissimus dorsi muscle in 4 cases (21.05%), the inguinal and the rectus femoris muscle in 2 cases each (10.53% in each case) and the thoraco-dorsal artery perforator and the superficial temporal fascia on 1 occasion each of them (5.26% in each case). The most frequent location was in the lower extremities in 12 cases (63.16%), followed by the upper extremities in 5 cases (26.31%) and the head in 2 cases (10.53%). On average, coverage surgery with the free flap was performed at 24 days. Arterial anastomosis was performed end-to-end in 15 cases (79%). The venous anastomosis was always end-to-end anastomosing 2 veins in 5 cases (26.31%) and only 1 in the rest (76.69%). Two flaps failed due to venous congestion (10.53%) and 2 flaps were complicated with infection (10.53%).


The reconstruction of complex defects associated with an electrical burn has been, is a challenge for plastic surgeons because of the small number of cases that occur and, because of the idiosyncrasy of the electrical injury and the burned patient. A correct debridement, the selection of the recipient vessel and deciding the optimal time for reconstruction are the most important points to consider. For these reasons we believe that this pathology should be addressed in multidisciplinary burn units with highly trained personnel.

Palabras clave : Electrical injury; Burns; Electrical burns; Free flaps; Microsurgery; Reconstructive surgery.

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