Reconstructive Plastic Surgery

Orthopaedic and Microvascular Reconstruction

Surgeons at RPS Australia are specialists in complex lower-extremity reconstruction surgery.

This type of microsurgery is performed to salvage leg function, prevent amputation and restore mobility in the elderly.

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Orthopaedic and Microvascular Reconstruction

The demand for this type of reconstructive surgery has been steadily growing in the elderly and after a traumatic injury. While previously surgeries like this were not recommended, advances in anaesthesia and operative techniques, modern imaging techniques and intraoperative management as well as preoperative planning, help to reduce possible complications.

Orthopaedic and microvascular reconstruction is a procedure to salvage legs from amputation, aid mobility and restore quality of life.

Reasons for Orthopaedic and Microvascular Reconstruction

Microsurgical flaps are the most suitable procedure for large tissue and composite tissue defects in the lower extremity in the elderly. Especially in those with comorbidities such as diabetes, osteoporosis and vascular compromise.Some reasons a surgeon may decide orthopaedic and microvascular reconstruction is a suitable option include:

  • open fractures in the lower extremity
  • fracture-related infection and periprosthetic joint infection
  • high-energy lower leg injuries
  • foot and ankle defects
  • chronic osteomyelitis
  • post oncologic resections
  • chronic wounds due to vascular disease, radiation, inflammatory disease, infection or diabetes.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

To ensure the safety of the patient, a scheduled intensive care unit (ICU) stay is necessary. This will help assure post-operative safety and allow for intervention in the event of complications. It’s important to monitor cardiac (heart infarction), renal and pulmonary (pneumonia and embolus) complications post-surgery. To assist in post-operative care the surgical team will:

  • Place the patient in ICU for the first 12 to 48 hours.
  • Restrictive fluid management.
  • Manage blood pressure.
  • Monitor the flaps in case of perfusion problems.
  • Provide pain control.
  • Maintain the patient’s body temperature.
  • Provide physiotherapy and nursing.
  • Maintain nutrition post-surgery.
  • Provide early mobilisation.
  • Offer rehabilitation.

More information

What else you should know

Who is NOT eligible for orthopaedic and microvascular reconstruction surgery?

In some cases orthopaedic and microvascular reconstruction may not be suitable. Some reasons include:

  • No suitable donor vessels.
  • Inoperability due to poor health, low life expectancy, high risk for extreme morbidity or bedridden patient.
  • Multi-resistant bacteria – no antibiotic treatment available.
  • Bony stabilization impossible.
  • Lack of compliance due to drug abuse or mental illness.
How will RPS manage my post-operative care?

The RPS team will give you specific advice regarding your individual post-operative recovery. They will advise:

  • where you will go after your surgery
  • what medication you will be given or prescribed
  • what bandages and dressings you will need and when they’ll be removed
  • if you require stitches, when they’ll be removed
  • when you can get back to normal activity and exercise
  • when to book your follow-up care.

Dr. Michael Findlay

Our Melbourne specialist

The team at RPS Melbourne are committed to providing you with the best possible outcome.

The extensive specialist skills of our surgical team ensure that you are provided with surgical options designed to maximise form and function.

Dr Michael Findlay holds an impressive array of academic credentials, extensive professional experience and a personal commitment to patient satisfaction.