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A Journal on Surgery


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Chirurgia 2000 August;13(4):201-6

language: Italian

Radiodermatitis and radionecrosis: clinical problems and present therapeutic principles

Bocchi A., Merelli S., Papadia F., Caleffi E., Papadia F.


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Background. Radiodermatitis and radionecrosis are still common diseases in clinical practice. Their correct diagnosis and resolution can be sometimes very difficult. In this paper, the personal approach to these cases, depending on the different seriousness of lesions is described and the importance of using well perfused tissues to help healing process is underlined.
Methods. From 1987 to 1997 we have treated, at the Plastic Surgery Department of Parma, 56 patients with radio-induced lesions: 3 with acute lesions that didn't required surgical treatment, while 53 had chronic lesions and underwent reconstructive surgical operations. Different surgical techniques were used: some required rotation cutaneous flaps, muscle-cutaneous flaps, in some cases it was necessary to use contra-lateral breast as a rotation-advancement flap or to rotate an epiploon flap.
Results. The methods used allowed to reach good results depending on the correct technical approach and most of all on the careful preoperative study and patients' selection.
Conclusions. On the basis of the personal experience, we can state that chronic radiodermatitis requires surgical treatment, while acute lesions can heal if a correct and early medical therapy is applied. Surgical treatment of radio-induced lesions always needs the use of healthy tissues with rich blood flow.

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