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Microsurgical Reconstruction

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Microsurgical Reconstruction in Orange County

When trauma or cancer damages the body, or when a child is born with a malformation, microsurgical reconstruction can restore function, appearance, and self-esteem. 

Microsurgical reconstruction is a state-of-the-art approach that moves and reconnects tissue at the level of fine nerves and tiny blood vessels. By making the body look and feel whole again, reconstructive surgery can help a patient — child or adult — regain a sense of well-being. 

To learn more about microsurgical reconstruction, contact UCI Plastic Surgery to schedule a consultation in our Orange, CA, office. Pediatric patients should schedule a consultation with UCI Plastic Surgery at CHOC.

Watch a short video of Dr. Vyas on the CHOC website: “When a child has plastic surgery after cancer treatment.”

What Is Microsurgical Reconstruction?

Microsurgical reconstruction is surgery that uses specialized operating microscopes and precisely controlled instruments to repair or reattach nerves and small blood vessels when transferring bone, muscle, skin, and other tissue from one part of the body to another. With a microscopic-level attention to and control of the procedure, the surgeon can establish a blood supply and nerve connections in the reconstructed area, improving aesthetic and functional outcomes. 

By establishing nerve connections, microsurgical reconstruction enables sensation and movement in the transplanted tissue. Connecting blood vessels helps the transplanted tissue heal and establish itself in the repaired area more quickly and with less risk of failure

What Problems Can Microsurgical Reconstruction Correct?

Microsurgical reconstruction can rebuild areas of the:

  • Head and neck
  • Arms and hands
  • Legs and feet
  • Abdomen
  • Breast
  • Back

Microsurgical reconstruction can also:

  • Reanimate paralyzed areas of the face, restoring the ability to eat, speak, and smile
  • Correct specific types of muscle paralysis elsewhere on the body
  • Reattach severed tissue, such as toes or fingers
  • Restore healthy flow to the lymphatic system
  • Restore skin appearance and sensation after burn reconstruction
  • Complete reconstruction for malformations such as cleft lip and palate and underdeveloped bones in the skull and face

What Does Microsurgical Reconstruction Surgery Entail?

Microsurgical reconstruction is a broad term for a microscopic approach to reconstructive surgery. It is applicable to a wide range of procedures. Most involve rebuilding a damaged or underdeveloped part of the body by using tissue from another part of the body (called autologous reconstruction). 

In microsurgical reconstruction, a surgeon transplants a section of tissue from one part of the body to another, an approach known as “free flap transplant.” Microsurgical techniques connect tiny blood vessels in the transplanted tissue to the blood supply in the area under repair.. Microsurgery can also connect nerves and transplant skin, fat, muscle, tendon, and bone.

During the procedure, the surgeon uses a microscope to see the minuscule, intricate nerves and blood vessels and attaches them using precisely calibrated instruments.

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What Can I or My Child Expect on the Day of the Procedure?

Microsurgical reconstruction takes place while the patient is comfortably resting under general anesthesia. 

Once the anesthesia has taken effect, the surgeon carefully dissects the site to make tiny blood vessels and nerves accessible. When transplanting tissue from another part of the body, the surgeon removes donor tissue, ensuring it retains its blood supply. Then, the doctor transplants the harvested tissue to the reconstruction site and uses microscopic techniques to attach blood vessels and nerves. Sutures or bandages close the incisions in both areas.

The specific steps in the procedure will depend on the necessary correction. As part of the planning and preparation for the procedure, the plastic surgeon will explain the surgery’s details in depth to ensure you and your child have realistic expectations.

What to Expect After Microsurgical Reconstruction

Healing times and experience will vary with the procedure performed. Most patients will require several days in the hospital after surgery for the initial stage of recovery.

When releasing you or your child to go home, the staff at UCI Plastic Surgery and CHOC will provide specific instructions for recovery, including guidance on how to care for dressings, manage pain, and bathe, and when to resume normal activity. 

Your doctor will schedule follow-up appointments to track progress in healing and will be available to respond to your questions.

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An Integrated Approach to Pediatric Reconstructive Surgery

At CHOC, reconstructive surgery is one element in an integrated approach to pediatric care. Often, children and adolescents who require reconstructive surgery have other medical and emotional needs beyond what these procedures can address. 

Specialists work closely with the plastic surgeon to treat the medical problems that caused the damage or malformation and determine the best timing and approach for reconstructive surgery. 

Children may also need social and psychological support. Ask your child’s medical team at CHOC about how to address your child’s emotional needs, which may be as essential to your child’s well-being as the treatment to restore their health and physical appearance.

Schedule a Consultation in Orange County

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about microsurgical reconstruction surgery for yourself or your child. We’ll answer your questions and explain what to expect. We have five Los Angeles-area offices: in OrangeCosta MesaTustinNewport, Laguna Hills and Yorba Linda, CA. We offer pediatric consultations in our Orange, CA, office, scheduled through UCI Plastic Surgery at CHOC.

The doctors at UCI Plastic Surgery are leaders in the field of cosmetic surgery. Through their teaching and lecturing roles at UCI, they stay current with state-of-the-art techniques and technology. With their advanced technical skills, they consistently produce better, more natural-looking results for their patients.

UCI Plastic Surgery