Refinements in microsurgery have made distal finger replantation an established technique with high success rates and good functional and aesthetic outcomes. However, it still represents a technically demanding procedure due to the small vessel caliber and frequent lack of vessel length, requiring the use of interpositional venous grafts in some instances. We describe a new technique for anastomosis in fingertip replantation, whereby the need for venous grafts is eliminated.
Applying the reverse distal transverse palmar arch technique, 11 cases of distal digital replantation were performed between January 2011 and July 2016. The described procedure was used for arterial anastomosis in 10 cases and arteriovenous shunting for venous drainage in 1 case. A retrospective case review was conducted. The technical description and clinical outcome evaluations are presented.
Ten of the 11 replanted digits survived, corresponding to an overall success rate of 91%. One replant failed due to venous insufficiency. Blood transfusions were not required for any of the patients. Follow-up (range, 1.5–5 months) revealed near-normal range of motion and good aesthetic results. All of the replanted digits developed protective sensation. The average length of hospital admission was 5 days. All patients were satisfied with the results and were able to return to their previous work.
The use of the reverse distal transverse palmar arch is a novel and reliable technique in distal digital replantation when an increase in vessel length is required, allowing for a tension-free arterial repair without the need for vein grafts.