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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 187-189

Tolerance of skin grafts to postoperative radiotherapy

1 Department of Plastic Surgery, Guru Gobind Singh Medical College Hospital, Faridkot, Punjab, India
2 Department of Radiotherapy, Guru Gobind Singh Medical College Hospital, Faridkot, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Sonal Tina Lal
Department of Plastic Surgery, Guru Gobind Singh Medical College Hospital, Faridkot - 151 203, Punjab
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Source of Support: Nill., Conflict of Interest: None declared.

DOI: 10.4103/2229-516X.165382

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Aim: The aim was to evaluate the integrity and functional outcomes of skin grafts following external beam radiotherapy (EBRT). Materials and Methods: A prospective study of 15 patients, in whom EBRT was planned after their wound coverage with split-thickness skin graft (STSG). Parameters evaluated include defect size, time to postoperative radiotherapy, total radiotherapy dose, delays and interruptions in radiotherapy, wound complications, and the need for further surgical interventions. Results: In all the 15 (6 men, 9 women) patients of STSG, radical doses of EBRT, that is, 50–70 Gy in 25–35 fractions are delivered over around 6 weeks. All STSGs were placed on healthy vascular tissue beds. Median time to initial radiotherapy after grafting was 3 weeks (range 3–6 weeks). There were no interruptions in radiotherapy treatment. In one patient, there was partial skin graft loss after radiotherapy that was adequately managed with conservative treatment. No patient requires further surgical intervention. Conclusion: Adjuvant postoperative radiotherapy can be delivered to STSGs without significant complications. Postoperative radiotherapy can be started as early as 3–4 weeks after skin grafting. Skin grafts should be placed on well-vascularized healthy tissues. Minor skin graft loss resulting from postoperative radiotherapy can usually be treated conservatively.

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