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Excision and meshed skin grafting for leg ulcers resistant to compression therapy. BJS 2007; 94: 194-197.

Published: 6th December 2006

Authors: S. Abisi, J. Tan, K. G. Burnand

Background

The aim of this study was to determine the success of excision and meshed skin grafting for chronic leg ulcers. The effects of different ulcer aetiology and ulcer size on outcome were also assessed.

Method

All patients who had excision and mesh grafting for chronic leg ulceration between January 1996 and December 2004 at St Thomas' Hospital were reviewed. Recurrence was classified as any breakdown of the ulcer during follow‐up.

Results

Sixty‐two patients with 100 chronic leg ulcers underwent operation. Seventy‐two of the ulcers were venous and the median ulcer size was 36 (range 1·5–192) cm2. Only three patients left the hospital with their ulcers unhealed, but ulcers had recurred in 28 (28 per cent) by 2 months. A further 17 ulcers recurred later, with just over half (55 per cent) remaining healed by 5 years. There was no difference between the recurrence rates of venous ulcers and ulcers of other aetiologies (P = 0·980), or large (more than 10 cm2) and small ulcers (P = 0·686).

Conclusion

Wide local excision and meshed skin grafting benefitted over half of these patients with refractory leg ulcers. Recurrence was most likely to occur in the first 2 months and, provided that ulcers were healed at this time, there was a low rate of further breakdown. Copyright © 2006 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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