Steps to take before the procedure
Preparation of the surgery includes the analysis of the donor site and the recipient site. Clinical assessment of the patient health is also very important during this stage.
What happens during the procedure?
The free flap surgery starts with a dose of anaesthesia to the patient. Anaesthesia is an important component in the surgery as it helps to control the blood flow. Changes in blood flow can significantly alter the effectiveness of the surgery and might influence the amount of blood flow in the flap. After initial dissection of the donor site, the flap is lifted and blood vessels are clamped. The free flap is then transferred to the recipient site, carefully aligning the veins and arteries.
After the procedure
You may have to rest for a few days before the wound completely heals, and the flap begins to function like any other body part. Patients are advised to protect the wound and flap from germs, as infection in the area will affect its functioning. It is very important to soak up any fluid leak from the wound. Keep the dressing clean and do not let it get wet. The patient may take painkillers prescribed by the surgeon to ease discomfort. The patient may also need to avoid movement or exercise for a certain period.