Cutting edge medical technology
Microsurgical reconstruction is a special skillset that was pioneered by plastic surgeons. These cases require magnification, often with an operating microscope, and very fine suture to repair small, delicate vessels and nerves. Common operations requiring microsurgical reconstruction include free flap breast reconstruction, replantation of fingers, nerve repairs, and lower extremity reconstruction, to name a few.
Taking on challenging operations
Microsurgical reconstruction is core training for plastic surgeons. It requires special instrumentation and magnification to repair very small, delicate vessels and nerves. This skillset provides patients the potential for digit and limb salvage as well as complex reconstruction that would otherwise not be possible.
In the case of free flap reconstruction, tissue is transplanted from one area of the body to another. An artery and vein are preserved with the selected tissue and those vessels are sutured to a recipient artery and vein at the site of your reconstruction. At the end of the operation, the donor site (where the flap was taken) is either repaired or skin grafted, and the recipient site (your previous wound) is now reconstructed with the transferred flap/tissue.
These cases require general anesthesia as well as hospital admission for frequent monitoring of the transferred flap post-operatively.
If a free flap reconstruction is performed you will be admitted to the hospital for frequent monitoring of the tissue. Given that the transferred tissue has a delicate blood supply, it is very important that no compression or ice be applied to the tissue.
Drains will be placed and will be removed in clinic after discharge. In the case of extremity reconstruction, limb elevation is critical and a splint will also be part of your recovery.
We will have you follow up in clinic 1 week after discharge to ensure you are healing appropriately. Further details regarding post-operative care will be discussed in clinic.