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June 1963

Extensive Necrosis After Radiation for Cancer: Experiences in Surgical Management

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Plastic Surgery Division, The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Arch Surg. 1963;86(6):1061-1068. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1963.01310120179025

Therapeutic doses of radiation, effective against selected types of cancer, may injure unprotected normal tissue. Although improved methods have allowed radiation to be administered with minimal damage to adjacent or intervening structures, the sequelae of earlier therapy are still being seen. Our experience with the surgical management of parietal radionecrosis is the basis for this report.

Clinical Material  Sixteen patients with marked postradiation changes in the skin and underlying tissues have been seen on the surgery service at the Ohio State University Hospital during the past two years (Table). Twelve of the patients have been operated upon for parietal radionecrosis. One patient was operated upon nine months after treatment. The remainder developed their skin and deep tissue changes gradually over a period of five to fifteen years. The average interval between radiotherapy and the first operation for parietal radionecrosis was 7.25 years.Pain and/or indolent ulceration were the symptoms for