New York: A simple test may be able to identify which patients are most likely to experience wound-healing complications following a cancer surgery to remove soft tissue sarcomas.
As many as 35 percent of patients who undergo surgery to remove soft tissue sarcomas experience wound-healing complications, due to radiation they receive before surgery.
Transcutaneous oximetry is a non-invasive test that measures the oxygen level of tissue beneath the skin.
Adhesive sensors are placed on the skin. The sensors contain electrodes that can sense oxygen. The test causes no side effects or discomfort to the patient.
"Transcutaneous oximetry represents a potential tool for decisions regarding surgical timing or potentially other medical and surgical efforts to diminish wound complications," said Lukas Nystrom of Loyola University Medical Center in the US.
Soft tissue sarcomas are cancers that originate in the soft tissues, such as muscles, fat, blood vessels, nerves and tendons.
The study followed 10 patients who underwent surgery for soft tissue sarcomas after receiving radiation treatment.
Patients with lower transcutaneous oxygen levels before surgery were more likely to experience wound complications.
Four of the seven patients who had levels lower than 25 mm Hg just before surgery experienced wound complications, while all three patients with oxygen levels higher than 25 mm Hg healed without difficulty.
The findings were presented during the 2014 annual meeting of the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society recently.