<bold>The aim of the study</bold> was to assess the results of early reconstructive therapy in patients with war injuries.
<bold>Material and methods.</bold> 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.
<bold>Results.</bold> 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.
<bold>Conclusions.</bold> 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.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.