Distal facial vein catheterization for prevention and management of thrombosis in vascularized lymph node transfers

Gonzalo Mallarino-Restrepo, Miffy C.Y. Lin, Ming Huei Cheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: This study investigated the outcomes of the distal facial vein catheterization (DFVC) to manage venous thrombosis in vascularized submental lymph nodes (VSLN) flap transplantations. Methods: Between March 2017 and December 2020, patients who underwent VSLN flaps were divided into Group I: combined delayed primary retention sutures (DPRS) with DFVC, and Group II: DPRS alone. Primary outcomes were early (within 72 h) and late venous thrombosis. Secondary outcomes included other nonvascular complications and mechanical factors of the thrombosis. Results: A total of 105 patients who underwent 106 VSLN flaps, including 37 and 69 flaps in Groups I and II, respectively, were included. There were no statistically significant differences in age, body mass index, Taiwan lymphoscintigraphy staging, and surgical factors between the two groups (all p > 0.05). Early venous thrombosis requiring re-exploration developed in one (2.7%) and three (4.3%) flaps in Groups I and II, respectively (p = 0.20). One flap (2.7%) and eight (11.5%) flaps developed late venous thrombosis in Groups I and II, respectively (p < 0.01). There was no statistically significant difference in total complication rates between both groups (p = 0.9). Conclusion: VSLN flap transplantation had a significantly higher risk of late venous thrombosis. DFVC significantly decreased the late venous thrombosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)970-977
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 11 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Wiley Periodicals LLC.


  • VLNT
  • free tissue transfer
  • lymphedema
  • venous thrombosis


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