3 Things You May Not Know About Microsurgery

Microsurgery, Arizona Center for Hand to Shoulder Surgery

Suffering an accident or enduring a condition that maims your body or compromises function takes a toll on you physically, of course, but emotionally, too. Knowing that you’ve lost a digit or limb, have limited mobility, or are left with a disfiguring scar can make it hard to believe your life will ever feel normal again.

At the Arizona Center for Hand to Shoulder Surgery in Phoenix, our orthopedic surgeons are experts in a highly skilled, minimally invasive procedure called microsurgery. Microsurgery is a type of surgical repair that uses small incisions, a surgical microscope that can magnify structures by up to 50 times their size, and precise surgical instruments that repair delicate physical structures as small as 1 mm in diameter.

Microsurgery’s precision ensures that the healthy tissues around the injured area aren’t damaged during surgery. The orthopedic experts at the Arizona Center for Hand to Shoulder Surgery use microsurgery to make repairs and improvements that you may not have known were even possible.

Microsurgery reattaches severed body parts

An expert microsurgeon may be able to repair or reattach partially severed fingers, hands, and arms as long as the detached tissue is relatively intact, and no more than six hours have passed since the injury.

At the time of the injury, try to keep the severed body part moist in damp paper towels or a clean, damp cloth. Ideally, use saline, but regular water is good, too. Place the body part in a sterile container or a sealable plastic bag, and then put the container on ice — but don’t allow tissue to come in direct contact with ice.  

If you’re a candidate for microsurgery, your doctor uses surgical thread that’s no wider than a human hair to repair transected blood vessels and nerves and restore their function. After a successful surgery, healing period, and physical therapy, your reattached limb or digit should regain at least 50% of its functionality.

Microsurgery repairs complex wounds and trauma

Injuries to bones, just like injuries to soft tissue, may require microsurgery to reattach blood vessels to ensure adequate circulation. Nerves in tendons and ligaments may also need to be reattached so they can contract and relax to move the bones once they’ve healed.

Microsurgery can also help repair wounds that aren’t healing on their own, including wounds left by cancer surgery. Your surgeon may need to take a skin graft from another area of your body, or even from a donor. By attaching blood vessels and nerves from the graft to the wound area, your body’s blood supply helps the tissue repair itself and eventually close the wound.

Microsurgery restores function

If you suffer from the pain and dysfunction of repetitive use disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome or Dupuytren’s contracture of the fingers, microsurgery may be your solution. Releasing pressure on the median nerve alleviates the tingling, numbness, and dysfunction of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Your Arizona Center for Hand to Shoulder Surgery physician also uses microsurgery to remove thickened tissue and nodules that limit motion in Dupuytren’s disease.

Don’t give up when you suffer a catastrophic injury or dysfunction; microsurgery may be able to restore your hand or arm’s health. Call us today or use the online form to set up a consultation.

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