• The entire microvascular tissue transfer experience from 1977 through 1987 at the Atlanta Veterans Administration Medical Center has been reviewed. Seventy-four free flaps were done in 68 patients. Assessable records were available in 52 patients who had 58 reconstructive procedures. The most frequently used flaps were jejunum in 15 patients (25.8%), latissimus dorsi in 11 patients (18.9%), rectus abdominis in eight patients (13.8%), and gracilis in seven patients (12.1%). Major complications occurred in 43.1% of the cases. Total flap loss occurred in eight patients (13.8%); from 1977 through 1982, four (28.6%) of 14 patients had total flap loss, and from 1983 through 1987, four (9.1%) had total flap loss. Partial flap loss occurred in four cases (6.9%). Of the 52 patients, 43 had their problems resolved expeditiously by free-tissue transfer. We conclude that in a university-affiliated Veterans Administration medical center, microvascular reconstruction is an important and necessary surgical tool. Failure rates have decreased markedly with time and increasing experience. Definition of new anatomic microvascular units for transfer has increased the number of reconstructive choices.
(Arch Surg 1989;124:438-440)