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Case study: Dog - Soft tissue sarcoma - fore limb


01 September 2015



Clinical/experimental data:

Seven-year-old female American Pitbull cross. Soft tissue sarcoma on left antebrachium , approx. 1.3cm in diameter. Two 25mm fast (2 week expansion) expanders used.

  • Implant surgery proceeded well on 4 August 2014 (day 0)
    • Separate pockets were created for the two expanders
    • A dummy was used to size pockets
    • Expanders inserted with fingers to avoid damage to the silicone coating
    • Two layers of sutures and also stay sutures used
  • Dog comfortable throughout expansion phase over 2 weeks
    • Observations/checks carried out every 3-4 days
    • Leg remained bandaged with padded bandaging, throughout expansion hase
  • Definitive reconstruction surgery carried out on 18 August 2014 (day 14):
    • Expanders extracted and tumour excised with 1cm margin
    • Only just enough skin for closure (see learning points below)
    • Some additional undermining and bipointed advancement flap created to achieve full closure
  • Follow up carried out two weeks (day 28) after surgery: sutures removed and healing progressing very well. Both dog and owner reported as being happy.
  • Learning points: in a similar case the following could be considered
    • Use of expanders on either side of the surgical site – create two flaps one from either side rather than one advancing flap
    • Place two expanders closer to surgical site margin and also closer to one another to avoid a ‘bridge’ of unexpanded skin between the two expanders 
Photographic record:
Expansion results:
  • Both 25mm expanders reached 95% plus of full expansion in 2 weeks, approx. 19.5mm
  • No bone resorption from expansion pressure noted
  • Expanded skin used for reconstruction appeared healthy and well vascularised
  • Surgical site healed well after reconstruction surgery



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