J Reconstr Microsurg 2020; 36(04): 301-310
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1701013
Original Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

The Preferred Management of a Single-Digit Distal Phalanx Amputation

1  Division of Reconstructive Microsurgery, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou Medical Center and Chang Gung Medical College and Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
,
William Wei-Kai Lao
1  Division of Reconstructive Microsurgery, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou Medical Center and Chang Gung Medical College and Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
,
Angela Ting-Wei Hsu
1  Division of Reconstructive Microsurgery, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou Medical Center and Chang Gung Medical College and Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
,
Che-Hsiung Lee
1  Division of Reconstructive Microsurgery, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou Medical Center and Chang Gung Medical College and Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
,
Chung-Chen Hsu
1  Division of Reconstructive Microsurgery, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou Medical Center and Chang Gung Medical College and Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
,
Jung-Ju Huang
1  Division of Reconstructive Microsurgery, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou Medical Center and Chang Gung Medical College and Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
,
Shan Shan Qiu
2  Department of Plastic Surgery, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands
,
Daniel Tilkorn
3  Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, Hand surgery, Alfried Krupp Hospital, Essen, Germany
,
1  Division of Reconstructive Microsurgery, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou Medical Center and Chang Gung Medical College and Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
4  Department of Otolaryngology, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
,
Johnny Chuieng-Yi Lu
1  Division of Reconstructive Microsurgery, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou Medical Center and Chang Gung Medical College and Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
,
Tommy Nai-Jen Chang
1  Division of Reconstructive Microsurgery, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou Medical Center and Chang Gung Medical College and Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

20 July 2019

02 December 2019

Publication Date:
05 February 2020 (online)

Abstract

Background Replantation of a single digit at the distal phalanx level is not routinely performed since it is technically challenging with questionable cost-effectiveness. The purpose of this study was to analyze international microsurgeons' clinical decisions when faced with this common scenario.

Methods A survey of a right-middle finger distal phalanx transverse complete amputation case was conducted via online and paper questionnaires. Microsurgeons around the world were invited to provide their treatment recommendations. In total, 383 microsurgeons replied, and their responses were stratified and analyzed by geographical areas, specialties, microsurgery fellowship training, and clinical experiences.

Results Among 383 microsurgeons, 170 (44.3%) chose replantation as their preferred management option, 137 (35.8%) chose revision amputation, 62 (16.2%) chose local flap coverage, 8 (2.1%) chose composite graft, and 6 (1.6%) favored other choices as their reconstruction method for the case study. Microsurgeons from the Asia-Pacific, Middle East/South Asia, and Central/South America regions tend to perform replantation (70.7, 68.8, and 67.4%, respectively) whereas surgeons from North America and Europe showed a lower preference toward replantation (20.5 and 26.8%, respectively p < 0.001). Having completed a microsurgery fellowship increased the attempt rate of replantation by 15.3% (p = 0.004). Clinical experience and the surgeons' specialties did not show statistical significance in clinical decision making.

Conclusion From the present study, the geographic preferences and microsurgery fellowship experience influence the method of reconstruction for distal phalanx amputation. Multiple factors are taken into consideration in selecting the most suitable reconstructive method for each case scenario. In addition to the technical challenges of the proposed surgery, the cost of the procedure and the type of facility needed are important variables in the decision making process.