Outcomes of Chronically Anticoagulated Patients Undergoing Split-Thickness Skin Grafting for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Sheldon A. McCown, Elliot T. Walters, Alen Palackic, Camila Franco-Mesa, Shelby P. Bagby, Madeline S. Bonnet, Steven E. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE Split-Thickness skin grafting (STSG) is commonly used for wound closure in diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). In many cases, patients with diabetes present on long-Term anticoagulation therapy. The complications associated with anticoagulants can be discouraging to surgeons considering STSG. The goal of this study was to evaluate STSG outcomes in the setting of chronic anticoagulation across a large, multicenter database. METHODS The authors queried the TriNetX Network, which provides access to electronic medical records for more than 75 million patients, to search for patients with a history of DFUs treated with STSG. They divided those found into two groups: long-Term anticoagulant use prior to grafting and no long-Term anticoagulant use. After matching, the researchers evaluated outcomes following STSG after 1 month and 5 years. RESULTS The authors identified 722 patients on chronic anticoagulation with DFUs who were treated with STSG; 446 of these patients were matched to 446 patients with no prior anticoagulation. One month following STSG, the anticoagulated group showed no significant increase in death, graft failure, or regrafting. At 5 years, there was no significant increase in mortality, graft failure, regrafting, or lower extremity amputation rates. CONCLUSIONS Chronic anticoagulation therapy does not lead to increased short-or long-Term postoperative complications such as graft failure, regrafting, or increased amputation rates following STSG for wound closure. Negative outcomes following STSG for DFUs in chronically anticoagulated individuals are minimal, and grafting should be performed without hesitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-31
Number of pages6
JournalAdvances in Skin and Wound Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024


  • anticoagulants
  • complications
  • diabetic foot
  • foot ulcer
  • graft
  • postoperative
  • skin transplantation
  • wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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