Arteriovenous malformations are abnormal high-flow vascular anomalies that can greatly alter the structure of surrounding tissues. Treatment of symptomatic hand arteriovenous malformations must address the functional and aesthetic considerations of the hand. Nonsurgical treatment such as embolization continues to be plagued by complications such as digital ischemia and secondary need for amputation. In this study, the authors describe their experience treating hand arteriovenous malformations with wide resection and microsurgical reconstruction of the palmar arch. This technique aims to optimize postoperative function and minimize postoperative complications and recurrence.
Retrospective review identified five patients who underwent surgical excision of hand arteriovenous malformations performed by two of the senior authors (W.C.P. and M.M.) between 2002 and 2020. Four patients underwent reconstruction of the palmar arch, whereas one patient underwent ray amputation of the involved index finger only. One patient required concurrent free flap for soft-tissue coverage following resection.
Mean age at the time of surgery was 34.6 years. After an average follow-up of 2.7 years, there were no postoperative complications, functional deficits, or recurrences. The patient who underwent ray amputation only was postoperatively noted to have pulsatile dorsal veins concerning for a persistent high-flow state, although no recurrent mass was seen at limited 1-year follow-up.
Meticulous surgical excision with microvascular reconstruction is an acceptable technique for management of symptomatic hand arteriovenous malformations. Potential soft-tissue loss does not preclude aggressive resection. Wide excision with palmar arch reconstruction minimizes complications, optimizes functionality, and may prevent ischemia that could otherwise trigger recurrence.
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