Reconstructive limb-salvage surgery after lower extremity soft tissue sarcoma resection: A 20-year experience

Kelly M. Bridgham, Jad M. El Abiad, Zhen A. Lu, Deepa Bhat, Halley Darrach, Carol D. Morris, Adam S. Levin, Justin Michael Sacks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Reconstructive surgery is often required following lower extremity soft tissue sarcoma resection. The relationship between the method of plastic surgery reconstruction and postoperative wound healing or functional oncologic outcomes in this patient population is poorly understood. Methods: We performed a retrospective review on all adult patients that underwent soft tissue reconstruction following resection of lower extremity soft tissue sarcomas between 1996 and 2016 at our institution. Results: One hundred and thirty-six patients were identified. Wound complications occurred within 6-months postoperatively in 72 patients (52.9%). Average time to heal was 13.0 weeks. Limb survival was 94.9%. 16.9% and 36.8% of patients had evidence of local recurrence or metastatic disease, respectively. There was no significant difference in the incidence of overall wound complications, time to heal, limb survival, local recurrence, or metastatic disease between the different reconstructive methods. Conclusions: In our cohort, the utilization of different reconstructive techniques did not correlate with a difference in postoperative wound complications or oncologic outcomes. Local flaps can effectively reconstruct the majority of lower extremity sarcoma defects that cannot be closed primarily. However, alternative reconstructive techniques may be utilized when indicated without a significant increase in postoperative morbidity in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)708-716
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • flap reconstruction
  • limb-salvage surgery
  • lower extremity reconstruction
  • sarcoma
  • skin grafts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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