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Microsurgery. 1993;14(3):183-6.

The medical leech: an old treatment revisited.

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Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Kentucky Medical Centre, Lexington.


The treatment modality of choice for venous insufficiency after free tissue transfer or replantation remains surgical repair. When this is not technically possible, the use of medical leeches is a useful adjunct to treatment. This paper reviews the history of the use of leeches in medicine, the anatomy and physiology of Hirudo medicinalis, the techniques of leech therapy, and the complications and contraindications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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