As reconstructive transplantation is gaining popularity as a viable alternative for upper limb amputees, it is becoming increasingly important for plastic surgeons to renew surgical skills and knowledge of this area. Forelimb allotransplantation research has been performed previously in rodent and swine models. However, preclinical canine forelimb allotransplantation studies are lacking in the literature. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the surgical skills necessary to successfully perform forelimb transplantation in canines as ameans to prepare for clinical application. A total of 18 transplantation operations on canines were performed. The recipient limb was shortened at the onethird proximal forearm level. The operation was performed in the following order: bones (two reconstructive plates), muscles and tendons (separately sutured), nerves (median, ulnar, and radial nerve), arteries (two), and veins (two). The total mean time of transplantation was 5 hours ± 30 minutes. All of the animals that received transplantation were treated with FK-506 (tacrolimus, 2 mg/kg) for 7 days after surgery. Most allografts survived with perfect viability without vascular problems during the early postoperative period. The canine forelimb allotransplantation model is well qualified to be a suitable training model for standard transplantation and future research work.
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seoul 463-706, Republic of Korea.
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