Postoperative Interventions in Pediatric Digital Replantation: A Tertiary Referral Center Case Review

Published:August 16, 2022DOI:


      Although a few case series have been published describing the excellent outcomes of replantation and revascularization operations in children, there has been limited study of the hospital course that these patients experience and the number of potentially harmful interventions and treatments that occur. The purpose of this study was to detail the results of various postoperative interventions, including anticoagulation, transfusion, leeching, sedation, and additional anesthetic exposures.


      Twenty-nine patients aged less than 18 years had 34 digital revascularizations or replantations performed between January 2000 and May 2020. The details of each patient’s presentation, surgery, and postoperative care were analyzed.


      Nine of 29 children underwent repeat anesthetics, including 6 revision amputations. No demographic, surgical, or postoperative variables consistently preceded revision amputation or additional anesthetic procedures. Only 5 patients had >1 hemoglobin (Hb) measurement. Two patients received blood transfusions; the average drop in Hb was 3.5 g/dL from before surgery to the lowest after surgery. Four patients underwent leech therapy. Only patients receiving leech therapy required postoperative transfusions. Anticoagulation regimens were prescribed on the basis of demographic and surgical factors, although no medication or regimen seemed to affect outcomes.


      Although the experience of digital replantation is essentially the same in pediatric patients as adults, there may be different ramifications for children. Specifically, postoperative management of pediatric digital replantation or revascularization can involve multiple interventions that carry their risks. Parents should be counseled about the risks of anticoagulants, transfusions, and repeat anesthetics, and clinicians should monitor Hb closely when using leech therapy.

      Type of study/level of evidence

      Case series, Therapeutic IV.

      Key words

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