Free flaps are regularly used in plastic and reconstructive surgery but have a significant failure rate due to vessel thrombosis in the re-established arterial or venous circulation.
For a successful replantation, it is important to monitor the replanted flap vascularity for the early detection and revision of vascular compromise. Current methods based on the visual sign of ischemic flap is subjective, unreliable and hard to detect.
A 59-year-old man suffered from oral cancer, tumor was removed after surgery. Replantation was performed. Postoperatively, the flap microcirculation was monitored using our imaging device immediately after the operation with interval of 5 minute and 40 minutes.
Tissue perfusion of the new flap were measured by illuminating the tissue with a 785-nm-wavelength divergent laser beam. A CMOS camera captures the change in blood flow in new flap postoperatively.
With each measurement, the perfusion data from 150 consecutive images were averaged, resulting in a total measurement time of 10 s for each image.
In each image, 2 rectangular regions of interest (ROIs) were selected in image: the replanted flap (ROI2) and healthy skin of face (ROI3). For each image, the average perfusion in each ROI was calculated.