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Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2013 May 7;1(1). pii: e6-e9. doi: 10.1097/GOX.0b013e31828d659e. eCollection 2013 Apr.

Early Venous Occlusion Detection in a Free Flap Using Real-time Laser Doppler Imaging.

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Department of Plastic Surgery, Gustave Roussy Institute, Villejuif, France; and Aïmago SA, Lausanne, Switzerland.


Early detection of venous occlusion in free flaps is particularly difficult to identify, and its duration is known to be directly proportional to flap mortality. Here, we report a case of deep inferior epigastric perforator based breast reconstruction in which the intraoperative use of a perfusion camera enabled identifying a venous occlusion based on microcirculatory pulsation dynamics in real time. The sensitivity of our proposed method suggests that in certain cases in which the onset of venous occlusion begins in the operating room we can detect and treat occlusion before sending the patient to recovery. Further development of this technique will allow for earlier and more objective decision making with regard to venous occlusion detection in free tissue transfer.

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