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Plastic Surgery International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 194174, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/194174
Research Article

Free Flaps in a Resource Constrained Environment: A Five-Year Experience—Outcomes and Lessons Learned

1Department of Surgery (Plastic), University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 30197, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
2Kenyatta National Hospital, P.O. Box 20723, Nairobi 00202, Kenya

Received 24 May 2015; Revised 11 July 2015; Accepted 21 July 2015

Academic Editor: Yoshihiro Kimata

Copyright © 2015 Wanjala F. Nangole et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Introduction. Free flap surgery is a routine procedure in many developed countries with good surgical outcomes. In many developing countries, however, these services are not available. In this paper, we audit free flaps done in a resource constrained hospital in Kenya. Objective. This is a five-year audit of free flaps done in a tertiary hospital in Kenya, between 2009 and 2014. Materials and Methods. This was a prospective study of patients operated on with free flaps between 2009 and 2014. Results. A total of one hundred and thirty-two free flaps in one hundred and twenty patients were performed during the five-year duration. The age range was eight to seventy-two years with a mean of 47.2. All the flaps were done under loupe magnification. The overall flap success rate was eighty-nine percent. Conclusion. Despite the many limitations, free flaps in our setup were successful in the majority of patients operated on. Flap salvage was noted to be low due to infrequent flap monitoring as well as unavailability of theatre space. One therefore has to be meticulous during surgery to reduce any possibilities of reexploration.