Diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) is a serious health problem. Major amputation increases the risk of mortality in patients with DFU; therefore, treatment methods other than major amputation come to the fore for these patients. Graft applications create an appropriate environment for the reproduction of epithelial cells. Similarly, epidermal growth factor (EGF) also stimulates epithelization and increases epidermis formation. In this study, we aimed to compare patients with DFU treated with EGF and those treated with a split-thickness skin graft.
Patients who were treated for DFU in the general surgery clinic were included in the study. The patients were evaluated retrospectively according to their demographic characteristics, wound characteristics, duration of treatment, and treatment modalities.
There were 26 patients in the EGF group and 21 patients in the graft group. The mean duration of treatment was 7 weeks (4-8 weeks) in the EGF group and 5.3 weeks (4-8 weeks) in the graft group (P < .05). In the EGF group, wound healing could not be achieved in one patient during the study period. In the graft group, no recovery was achieved in three patients (14.2%) in the donor site. Graft loss was detected in four patients (19%), and partial graft loss was observed in three patients (14.2%). The DFU of these patients were on the soles (85.7%). These patients have multiple comorbidities.
EGF application may be preferred to avoid graft complications in the graft area and the donor site, especially in elderly patients with multiple comorbidities and wounds on the soles.