Reconstructive Surgery During the Bosnian Conflict: An Occasional Effort or a Worthwhile Endeavor?
The aim of the study was to assess the results of early reconstructive therapy in patients with war injuries.Material and methods. Italian Mission of Plastic Surgery operated since August to December 1995 in a hospital in Zenica during the Balcan War as part of a humanitarian mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The team included a plastic surgeon (E.R.) and an instrumenter (O.R.). 97 patients were treated over approximately 4 months in this hospital behind the front line.Majority of cases involved war injuries (81 persons). 57 patients had head and neck injuries, 29 patients - lower limb injuries, 8 patients - upper limb injuries and 3 patients - trunk injuries. Males predominated (64) and there were 29 women. 62 patients comprised participants of the fighting in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 35 patients were civilian.Results. In majority of cases, early, one-stage reconstructive procedures were performed instead of complicated microsurgical procedures and multi-stage procedures. Satisfactory results for both patients and doctors were obtained.Conclusions. Early reconstructive treatment of patients with war injuries, aimed at function preservation and prevention of severe deformities should be undertaken using any available measures. Simple, one-stage surgical procedures should replace multi-stage, complicated procedures, associated with higher risk of postoperative complications.
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