This study was designed to introduce the feasibility of toe tissue transfer without venous outflow for fingertip reconstruction.
Five cases of fingertip defects were treated successfully with this method. Four cases were traumatic fingertip defects, and one case was a hook-nail deformity. The lateral pulp of a great toe or medioinferior portion of a second toe was used as the donor site. An arterial pedicle was dissected only within the digit and anastomosis was performed within 2 cm around the defect margin. The digital nerve was repaired simultaneously. No additional dissection of the dorsal or volar pulp vein was performed in either the donor or recipient sites. Other surgical procedures were performed following conventional techniques. Postoperative venous congestion was monitored with pulp temperature, color, and degree of tissue oxygen saturation. Venous congestion was decompressed with a needle-puncture method intermittently, but did not require continuous external bleeding for salvage.
Venous congestion was observed in all the flaps, but improved within 3 or 4 days postoperatively. The flap size was from 1.5×1.5 cm2 to 2.0×3.0 cm2. The mean surgical time was 2 hours and 20 minutes. A needle puncture was carried out every 2 hours during the first postoperative day, and then every 4 hours thereafter. The amount of blood loss during each puncture procedure was less than 0.2 mL. In the long-term follow-up, no flap atrophy was observed.
When used properly, the free toe tissue transfer without venous anastomosis method can be a treatment option for small defects on the fingertip area.
Keywords: Finger injuries, Free tissue flaps, Hyperemia