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What is microsurgery?

Reconstructive microsurgery is a surgical discipline in which specialised 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.

Watch Dr Sharp perform microsurgery in the video below:

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 customised operations. Microsurgical reconstruction is typically reserved for complex reconstructive surgery problems when other options such as primary closure, skin grafting, local or regional flap transfers aren’t possible.

Common microsurgery procedures include:

  • 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
  • Vaginal or pelvic floor repair
  • Nerve repair and grafting
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