General or regional anaesthesia for microvascular flap surgery: comparison of surgical complication rate and duration of hospitalization

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Objective: Microvascular flap surgery is an effective method for difficult reconstructions and
major defects. There is an ongoing debate about the preferred method of anaesthesia for flap
success. We aim to evaluate the differences in the rate of microvascular flap surgery
complications and duration of hospitalization between patients receiving regional anaesthesia
(RA) and general anaesthesia (GA).
Materials and Methods: This retrospective cohort study includes 54 adult patients
undergoing elective microvascular flap surgery. The study was conducted with the approval
of the Ethics Committee of Riga Stradins University. The method of anaesthesia was chosen
according to individual surgical necessity. Patients were divided into two groups – RA group
(N=25) and GA group (N=29). Postoperative outcome data on surgical flap complications,
duration of intensive care stay, and total duration of hospitalization was obtained.
Results: RA and GA groups had no statistically significant differences in the rate of flap
failure, infection, hematoma, or any other type of flap complication. GA group had a mean
intensive care stay duration of 2.33 days (CI 95% 0.62-5.25). RA group had a significantly
lower mean intensive care stay duration of 0.26 days (0.06-0.57; p=0.002). GA group had a
mean hospitalization duration of 24.4 days (14.42-34.31). RA group had a comparatively
lower mean hospitalization duration of 14.25 days (9.55-19.01; p=0.032).
Conclusion: The rate of surgical complications in microvascular flap surgery is equal for
both RA and GA. Patients who receive GA have a longer mean intensive care stay and
duration of hospitalization. In contrast to previous assertions, a meticulously administered
regional anaesthesia might be preferred when surgically feasible.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)A25
Number of pages1
JournalRegional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine
Issue numberSuppl.1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sept 2021
EventAnnual Congress of the European Society of Regional Anaesthesia (ESRA 2021) - virtual, Switzerland
Duration: 8 Sept 202110 Sept 2021

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


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