Following microvascular free flap surgery, it is essential to monitor the perfusion of the transferred flap because of the risk of anastomotic failure and ischemia. Monitoring of the flap is commonly made by clinical observation of signs that appear following arterial or venous ischemia.
Microdialysis is a unique technique, which offers the possibility to continuously monitor the metabolism of the flap. Ischemia can be detected by monitoring the changes in Glucose in the interstitial fluid of the specific tissue(1). Microdialysis can reliably detect flap ischemia at an early stage(2).The performance of the analysis is easy and can be done by even less experienced nursing staff working in institutes with a low frequency of microsurgery(2).
Microdialysis shall not be used as the sole basis for diagnosis or therapy.