Sunday, January 18, 2015

What is a Microsurgery?

Microsurgery is a very intricate, specialized type of plastic surgery performed using delicate instruments, sutures finer than human hair and high powered magnification provided by either a microscope or high-powered loupes. Microsurgeons can repair and reconnect very small blood vessels and nerves less than 1mm in diameter.

Microsurgery has allowed significant advances in many surgical fields. Breast reconstruction has been transformed completely.

We can now replace tissue removed by a mastectomy with the patient's own tissue transplanted from another part of their body. Unlike conventional tissue reconstruction techniques (like the TRAM flap), the latest microsurgical techniques ("perforator flaps") carefully preserve the patient's underlying muscles. The tissue is disconnected from the body, transplanted to the patient's chest and reconnected using microsurgery.

Preserving underlying muscles lessens postoperative discomfort making the recovery easier and shorter. It also helps the patient maintain muscle strength long-term which is particularly important for active women.

Below is a video of microsurgery performed during a DIEP flap breast reconstruction. Here we are connecting the DIEP flap artery to the internal mammary artery in the chest under the microscope:

I hope this info helps!

Dr C


Dr Chrysopoulo is a board certified plastic surgeon in San Antonio, Texas and an active member of the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery. He specializes in DIEP flap breast reconstruction and other state-of-the-art breast reconstruction procedures. He is in-network for most US insurance plans. Patients are welcomed from across and outside the US. Please call (800) 692-5565 or email to schedule a consultation.


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