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Postoperative Complications of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in Solid Organ Transplant Recipients

Ka, Soon Il, MD; Kim, Sung-Eun, MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000005511
Original Article: PDF Only

Introduction: As the number of organ transplants and the survival rate increase, solid organ transplant patients will need more plastic and reconstructive surgery. However, such patients take immunosuppressants, including prednisone, which makes wound healing slower and plastic surgeons more hesitate to operate. In this study, we examined postoperative complications of organ transplant patients who have undergone plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Materials & Methods: Between 2002 and 2018, the total number of patients who visited our clinic after receiving organ transplants was 77. Retrospective reviews were performed on 35 patients, excluding those who received conservative treatment. Demographics, underlying diseases, causes of organ transplantation, immunosuppressive regimen, types of procedures, and postoperative complications were analyzed.

Results: A total of 35 patients received 42 procedures. Eleven patients had undergone kidney transplantation, and 24 had undergone liver transplantation. The type of procedures were local flap (23.8%), primary closure (23.8%), skin graft (11.9%), and free flap (2.4%). There were 2 cases of aesthetic surgery. Among all the cases, complications occurred in 8 procedures (19%). Hematoma was the most common complication, followed by skin necrosis. All except 3 patients were completely healed within 6 weeks.

Discussion: This study showed that hematoma was the most frequently occurring complication. In a few cases, wound healing was delayed. So, bleeding control was very important to prevent the development of hematoma. And organ transplants may not be a problem for plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, School of Medicine, Catholic University of Daegu, Daegu, Republic of Korea.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Sung-Eun Kim, MD, PhD, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, College of Medicine, Catholic University of Daegu, 3056-6 Daemyung 4-dong Namgu, Daegu 705-718, Republic of Korea; E-mail:

Received 14 November, 2018

Accepted 27 February, 2019

This work was supported by research grants from Daegu Catholic University in 2018.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

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© 2019 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD.