The use of an arteriovenous fistula (AVF) to afford vascular access for free tissue transfer is described in 11 consecutive patients from a 1 year period. The leg was the site of pathology in six cases, and a reversed saphenous AVF to the femoral vessels was created. In the remaining five cases, those in the head and neck and arm regions, the recipient vessels varied. The mean patient age was 37.7 years, and ten of 11 patients were male. Etiologies of defect were automobile accidents in six cases, neoplasm in three, and gunshot wound and electrical injury in one patient each. Mean ischemia time was 113 ± 15 min. Mean length of AVF was 27.3 ± 2.1 cm. All flaps survived. AVF was a useful technique in the current study. Several maneuvers were undertaken to minimize the risk of thrombosis. All patients were given aspirin prior to AVF creation. Patients received dextran 40 in the postanastomosis period for 5 days. Finally, every effort was made to create the AVF between large vessels, especially in the leg, to maximize blood flow. © 1993 Wiley‐Liss Inc.
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