Although often a life-saving therapeutic maneuver, there is minimal data available that details the effects of intraoperative packed red blood cell transfusion (IOT) after microvascular free tissue transfer. The National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database was queried to identify all patients who underwent microvascular free tissue transfer between 2006 and 2010. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to determine the association between intraoperative transfusion and outcomes. Upon bivariate and multivariate analyses, IOT was significantly associated with higher rates of overall complications (odds ratio [OR], 2.02; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12-3.63), medical complications (OR, 3.35; 95% CI, 1.75-6.42), postoperative transfusion (OR, 6.02; 95% CI, 2.02-17.97), and reoperation (OR, 2.24; 95% CI, 1.24-4.04). IOT was not associated with either surgical complications or free flap loss. IOT significantly increases risk for adverse overall and medical complications. However, IOT was not associated with surgical complications or free flap loss. Transfusion practices in the operating room should be reevaluated to improve overall outcomes.
- free flap
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