This is a report on 15 patients who underwent replantation/revascularization of a single digit with a substantial dorsal soft tissue defect. The dorsal defect was covered with a venous flap, a free flap that has only venous inflow and outflow. Postoperatively, the venous flaps were warm, pink, and appeared to exhibit a blanch and refill phenomenon, clinically resembling capillary filling. The flaps from the dorsal aspect of an uninjured digit had a survival rate of 100 percent, with no partial necrosis, while the flaps from a forearm or dorsal foot donor site failed. The advantages of using venous flaps are twofold. Not only does this technique provide for venous drainage, but it also provides flap coverage and avoids complications, such as vessel occlusion or hematoma formation, associated with skin grafting over a venous anastomosis, with subsequent loss of the skin graft.
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