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HBO &Compromised grafts and flaps

HBO &Compromised grafts and flaps

It is extremely rare for plastic surgery procedures where either skin grafts or skin and muscle grafts have been placed to be unsuccessful. There are certain situations however where there is a higher risk that the flap or graft might not take.

For instance, if a person is having surgery on part of their body previously exposed to radiotherapy, the blood supply within the flap or on the area where it is being placed, might have been affected by the radiotherapy. The flap might not be receiving enough oxygen to survive and may become dusky before eventually becoming necrotic (dying) and failing.

HBO is most useful early when a problem with flap viability has been identified and where the problem does not need further surgery to address it properly. HBO can provide higher levels of oxygen to a flap, helping meet the energy needs of the tissue.

HBO is not effective when a flap or graft has died (necrosis) so prompt referral is needed when a problem is suspected.

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