American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Microsurgery

Microscope-Assisted Operations

Reconstructive microsurgery is a surgical discipline in which specialized operating microscopes and precision instrumentation are used to repair intricate structures such as blood vessels and nerves less than a few millimeters in diameter.

What is microsurgery?

Reconstructive microsurgery is a surgical discipline in which specialized operating microscopes and precision instrumentation are used to repair intricate structures such as blood vessels and nerves less than a few millimeters in diameter. This field has made a major impact to restore form and function to individuals impaired by trauma, cancer and congenital anomalies.

Microsurgery is a tool used by many plastic surgeons to perform specific procedures including transfer of tissue from one part of the body to another (free tissue transfer), reattachment of severed parts (replantation) and composite tissue transplantation.

Microsurgical procedures represent a wide range of highly individualized operations. Microsurgical reconstruction is typically reserved for complex reconstructive surgery problems when other options (primary closure, skin grafting, local or regional flap transfer) are inadequate.

Common microsurgery procedures

  • Breast reconstruction using free tissue transfer
  • Head and neck reconstruction using free tissue transfer
  • Functioning free muscle transfer for certain types of muscle paralysis
  • Vascularized bone flap transfer
  • Complex wound reconstruction
  • Toe transplantation
  • Digit replantation
  • Nerve repair and grafting
  • Lymphatic reconstruction


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