A review of devices used in the monitoring of microvascular free tissue transfers

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Abstract

The use of microvascular anastomoses to allow transfer of viable tissue is a fundamental technique of reconstructive surgery, and is used to treat a broad spectrum of clinical problems. The primary threat to this type of reconstructive surgery is anastomotic vascular thrombosis, which can lead to complete loss of tissue with potentially devastating consequences. Monitoring of tissue perfusion postoperatively is critical, since early recognition of vascular compromise and prompt surgical intervention is correlated with the ability for tissue salvage. Traditionally, physical examination was the primary means of monitoring, but possesses several limitations. Medical devices introduced for the purposes of flap monitoring address many of these deficiencies, and have greatly enhanced this critical aspect of the reconstructive surgery process.

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