Aims: Pressure injury is a gradually increasing disease in the aging society. The reconstruction of a pressure ulcer requires a patient and surgical technique. The patients were exposed to the radiation risk under other ways of detection of perforators such as computed tomographic angiography and magnetic resonance angiography. Here, we compared two radiation-free methods of a superior gluteal artery perforator (SGAP), flap harvesting and anchoring. One is the traditional method of detecting only handheld acoustic Doppler sonography (ADS) (Group 1). The other involves the assistance of intraoperative indocyanine green fluorescent near-infrared angiography (ICGFA) and handheld ADS (Group 2).
Materials and methods: This is a single-center, retrospective, observational study that included patients with sacral pressure injury grades III and IV, who had undergone reconstructive surgery with an SGAP flap between January 2019 and January 2021. Two detection methods were used intraoperatively. The main outcome measures included the operative time, estimated blood loss, major perforator detection numbers, wound condition, and incidence of complications.
Results: Sixteen patients underwent an SGAP flap reconstruction. All patients were diagnosed with grade III to IV sacral pressure injury after a series of examinations. Group 1 included 8 patients with a mean operative time of 91 min, and the mean estimated blood loss was 50 mL. The mean number of perforators was 4. Postoperative complications included one wound infection in one case and wound edge dehiscence in one case. No mortality was associated with this procedure. The mean total hospital stay was 16 days. Group 2 included 8 patients with a mean operative time of 107.5 min, and the mean estimated blood loss was 50 mL. The mean number of perforators was 5. Postoperative complications included one wound infection. No mortality was associated with this procedure. The mean total hospital stay was 13 days.
Conclusions: The combination of detection of the SGAP by ICGFA and handheld ADS for the reconstruction of a sacral pressure injury provides a more accurate method and provides the advantage of being radiation-free.
Keywords: handheld acoustic Doppler sonography; indocyanine green fluorescence near-infrared angiography; sacral pressure injury; superior gluteal artery perforator.