Background: The impact of old scar tissue on the venous anatomy of a flap's pedicle is an important question in reconstructive surgery. This study tried to investigate the venous component in scar penetrating neovascularisation.
Methods: Fifty Sprague-Dawley rats were used in this experimental study. Two experimental groups were designed. In the first group, incisions were performed over the epigastric flap pedicles. In the second group, 1 cm wide segments were excised over the pedicles. Ten weeks after the initial operations, angiographies and histological examinations were performed. A control group was used to demonstrate the normal arterial and venous anatomy of the pedicle.
Results: Arterial angiographies revealed that axial pattern arteries were visible in the incision group as opposed to the excision group. Although venous angiographies showed that there were more venous capillary formations in the incision group, none of the experimental groups had regenerated a vein with an axial pattern. Histological examinations revealed that venous vessel formations were significantly less in the distal samples of the experimental groups when compared to the control group (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: In this study, it has been observed that arterial pedicles do regenerate over old incision scars as opposed to veins. In the excision scars neither arterial or venous restoration of the axial pedicle was possible. In these cases, only a random type of limited circulation was restored.
Keywords: Scar; angiogenesis; rat; veins.