Upper extremity limb salvage with microvascular reconstruction in patients with advanced sarcoma

John Y. Kim*, Vairavan Subramanian, Adel Yousef, Bruce A. Rogers, Geoffrey L. Robb, David W. Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Limb salvage is a viable alternative to amputation in many cases of advanced sarcoma. The authors examined their experience with microvascular reconstruction of upper extremity defects after sarcoma resection, focusing on oncologic and functional outcomes. A retrospective analysis yielded 17 patients who underwent 18 free flap procedures and met the inclusion criteria. Most patients (71 percent, n = 12) had recurrent sarcoma at presentation to the authors' institution. Malignant fibrous histiocytoma was the most common pathologic subtype (n = 6). High-grade tumors were present in 94 percent of patients (n = 16). The free flap survival rate was 100 percent. The rectus abdominis flap was the most common free flap used (39 percent; n = 7). Local recurrence occurred in nine flaps (50 percent), and five patients ultimately required amputations. Six patients (35 percent) had distant recurrence. The mean Enneking score for limb function was 73 percent of the maximum (21.9 of 30). The 5-year disease-specific survival rate was 61.3 percent. In select patients with advanced upper extremity sarcoma undergoing limb salvage, microvascular flap reconstruction can provide reliable, safe coverage with reasonable preservation of function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-408
Number of pages9
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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