GHOST protocol: Greatest healing opportunity for soft tissue, a treatment paradigm for complex sarcoma reconstruction

Edward M. Kobraei, Kyle R. Eberlin, Joseph A. Ricci, Richard G. Reish, Jonathan M. Winograd, Curtis L. Cetrulo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Modern sarcoma treatment has created new challenges for plastic surgeons. This study was designed to review the recent experience and practice patterns following complex sarcoma resection at a large sarcoma center. All cases from October 2013 to October 2014 involving rare nonepithelial tumors, a multidisciplinary surgical team, radiation and/or chemotherapy treatments, and plastic surgical reconstruction were included in the analysis. In addition to evaluating clinical outcomes, cases were reviewed to identify factors associated with excellent or poor patient care. Review of these cases formed the basis of the greatest healing opportunity for soft tissue (GHOST) protocol. Our patient population included seven males (64%) and four females (36%). All except one patient was exposed to radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or some combination. Diverse procedures were used for reconstruction. Early complications occurred in two patients (18%), and late complications in four patients (36%). Sarcoma resection was found to be highly morbid in our series. Patients with poor preoperative nutritional status were more likely to experience complications postoperatively. The decision to stage a reconstruction was complex and influenced by several factors. Multimodal sarcoma treatments may involve highly morbid procedures and create complex wounds. The GHOST protocol is a useful reference for plastic surgeons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)557-563
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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