Free-flap success has been the rule with technical advancements in microsurgery. Despite improvements, thrombosis and flap loss still occur occasionally. Salvaging a sick flap can be a harrowing experience, even in the most experienced hands. Thrombolysis using intravenous and intra-arterial urokinase, streptokinase, and/or tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA) administered through the flap vascular pedicle has been reported in free-flap salvages. In such situations, success depends on early diagnosis and emergent exploration. Recently, we successfully used rtPA subcutaneously to salvage a venous congested free transverse rectus abdominus myocutaneous (TRAM) flap. Here, we report on that case.
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