Accurate assessment of the perfusion of free-tissue transfers has always been a challenge for surgeons undertaking microvascular reconstructive procedures. Microvascular free-tissue transfer today has a high success rate, which is partly due to the monitoring of flap circulation post-operatively. Recent advances in technology and improvements in surgical technique have led to reported success rates of between 95% and 98%. The aim of post-operative surveillance is the early recognition of flap compromise to improve chances of flap salvage and lower morbidity and mortality rates. There is extensive literature available on post-operative monitoring, and, although many techniques to assess flap perfusion have been described, a standard, reliable, universally accepted method, other than bedside clinical observation by the medical and nursing staff, remains elusive. This review outlines the current clinical and experimental flap monitoring methods available.
European Journal of Plastic Surgery – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 1, 2005
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