Microvascular surgery is one of the most advanced surgical options available for reconstructing surgical defects that are caused by cancer or trauma.
This technique involves harvesting healthy tissue from a distant site which is called a “free flap”. This healthy tissue is then transferred to the site of the affected area where its blood circulation is restored and it is used for reconstruction of the defect.
Free flap surgery is complex and technically challenging. Dr Amit Bhalotia is an expert in microvascular surgery and his success rates are very high.
Types of Microvascular Surgery
Microvascular surgery is used to reattach severed fingers, hands, arms, and other partially or completely amputated parts to the rest of the body. Blood vessels, nerves, tendons and other structures of the part are sutured to the body, allowing the tissue to live as if it were back in its original location.
Surgery for removal of tumors affects the surrounding area which in turn leads to anatomical defects and functional deformities. Microvascular reconstruction helps restore the affected area to an optimal level. After complete recovery, cosmetic procedures can be offered to regain the normal look.
Techniques used in reconstructive surgery include:
- Free skin and fat transfer
- Free muscle transfer
- Free bone transfer
Head and Neck Reconstruction: The commonest region for reconstruction is head and neck which includes rebuilding the face, neck, skull base, etc. using tissue including muscle and skin with blood vessels and/or bone from other parts of the body.
Breast Reconstruction: Following mastectomy, the breast can be adequately reconstructed using autologous tissue from the abdomen, buttock or other areas to form a breast mound. Primary nipple reconstruction may be possible in some cases or it can be undertaken as a secondary procedure later.
Trunk or Extremities: This includes salvage of amputation stumps or bony reconstruction. Large traumatic wounds or nonhealing ulcers secondary to diabetes or vascular insufficiency may be covered with flaps.
Facial Re-animation Surgery: This involves the restoration of facial expression following nerve injury or cancer surgery.
- After surgery patients are often kept sedated overnight, and woken up the following morning.
- Patients typically spend 1-2 days in the intensive care unit, followed by an additional few days in the hospital room.
- Patients are usually advised prolonged physical therapy on discharge and in the event of extensive wound care or rehabilitation needs, they may be discharged with home nursing care.