Background: Skin flaps are commonly used in soft-tissue reconstruction; however, necrosis can be a frequent complication. Several systemic and local agents have been used in attempts to improve skin flap survival, but none that can prevent flap necrosis have been identified.
Aims: This study aims to determine whether the use of systemic Rosmarinus officinalis (R. officinalis) extract can prevent flap necrosis and improve skin flap recovery.
Study design: Animal experimentation.
Methods: Thirty-five Wistar albino rats were divided in five groups. A rectangular random-pattern flaps measuring 8×2 cm was elevated from the back of each rat. Group I was the control group. In Group II, 0.2 ml of R. officinalis oil was given orally 2h before surgery. R. officinalis oil was then applied orally twice a day for a week. In Group III, R. officinalis oil was given orally twice a day for one week before surgery. At the end of the week, 0.2 mL of R. officinalis oil was given orally 2 h before surgery. In Group IV, 0.2 mL of R. officinalis oil was injected subcutaneously 2 h before surgery. After the surgery, 0.2 mL R. officinalis oil was injected subcutaneously twice a day for one week. In Group V, 0.2 mL R. officinalis oil was injected subcutaneously twice a day for one week prior to surgery. At the end of the week, one last 0.2 mL R. officinalis oil injection was administered subcutaneously 2 h before surgery. After the surgery, 0.2 mL R. officinalis oil was injected subcutaneously twice a day for one week.
Results: The mean percentage of viable surface area was significantly greater (p<0.05) in Groups II, III, IV, and V as compared to Group I. Mean vessel diameter was significantly greater (p<0.05) in Groups II, III, IV, and V as compared to Group I.
Conclusion: We have determined that, in addition to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects, R. officinalis has vasodilatory effects that contribute to increased skin flap survival.
Keywords: Rosmarinus officinalis; flap survivability; rosemary; tissue defect.
Conflict of interest statement
No conflict of interest was declared by the authors.
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