Welcome to Cleveland Clinic Online Health Chats

Get answers to your health questions and concerns. It's easy to be part of our live chat events, led by Cleveland Clinic physicians and health professionals.

Cosmetic Plastic Surgery: How Microsurgery Can Make a Big Difference
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 12 Noon (Eastern Time)

Sign up for this chat today.Register Now

Click Join Chat to join the chat in progress.You will be asked to login if you aren't already logged in.Join Chat

Microsurgery, involving the use of microscopes, allows surgeons to perform reconstructive surgery and transplant tissue from one part of the body to another while maintaining feeling in the transplanted tissue. To effectively repair the affected area, surgeons use bone, muscle, and skin from a different part of a person’s body. From their original location, or the flap, blood vessels are carefully moved and reattached to the new location so that the feeling in the transplanted tissue is preserved. The use of high magnification microscopes makes it possible to precisely sew tiny blood vessels and nerves with sutures and needles finer than human hair. This technique may be particularly helpful when a large wound is present that cannot be closed with nearby tissues or simple skin grafting.

Cancer patients and trauma victims are seeing the greatest benefits from microsurgery. This surgery allows surgeons to move muscles and bone to restore normal appearances and functions. Microsurgery can significantly improve treatment outcomes for trauma victims. After an accident, surgeons can use microsurgery techniques to move soft tissue to cover fractured bones and large, open wounds. The process can prevent infections and save limbs. Mastectomy patients benefit from this procedure as well because surgeons can use tissue from the belly or back to reconstruct breasts. Other conditions such as chronic and complex wounds, muscle paralysis, and post burn reconstruction can be treated using microsurgery as well.

Transplants are not, however, without risk. Realize that not every surgery is uniform and several surgeries could be necessary. Prepare that your appearance may be different after surgery. Also, radiation therapy may be needed after cancer resection, and the effects of radiation can alter your reconstruction. After the surgery, expect to stay in the hospital for up to five days followed by a healing period, with some swelling and discomfort, of two to three weeks.

Cleveland Clinic Florida offers a wide range of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery services. Our team of cosmetic and aesthetic plastic surgeons works with each patient individually to achieve the desired result. Surgeons collaborate in teams across specialties and subspecialties in achieving the best possible treatment outcomes. Cleveland Clinic Florida was first in the world to incorporate laser-imaging technology in breast reconstruction. Our plastic surgeons are also well known for work in DIEP reconstruction where a person’s own tissue is used in breast reconstruction. Log on to speak with a Cleveland Clinic Florida plastic surgeon and have your questions answered about the range of cosmetic procedures available involving microsurgical techniques.

Martin Newman, MD is a plastic surgeon in the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Cleveland Clinic Florida. He specializes in cosmetic and aesthetic plastic surgery, breast and body contouring, reconstructive plastic surgery and non-invasive techniques.

This Health Chat is currently open to allow you to submit questions. We will try to answer as many questions as possible during the chat. Please create an account to attend the chat and submit your questions.