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Free Flap Blood Flow Evaluated Using Two-Dimensional Laser Speckle Flowgraphy

International Journal of Otolaryngology
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  • Medicine


Objective. We investigated the efficiency of laser speckle flowgraphy for evaluating blood flow in free flaps used for plastic surgery. Methods. We measured blood flow using a visual laser meter capable of providing two-dimensional color graphic representations of flow distribution for a given area using a dynamic laser speckle effect. Using laser speckle flowgraphy, we examined the blood flow of 20 free flaps applied following the excision of head and neck tumors. Results. After anastomosis of the feeding and draining blood vessels and sewing the flap, musculocutaneous (MC) flaps showed significantly lower blood flow than jejunal or omental flaps ( 𝑃 < . 0 5 ). The ratio of blood flow decrease from the edge to the center was significantly greater in MC flaps than in jejunal or omental flaps ( 𝑃 < . 0 0 1 ). Conclusion. Laser speckle flowgraphy is useful for the perioperative measurement of blood flow in free flaps used in plastic surgery. This method is a highly useful, practical, and reliable tool for assessing cutaneous blood flow and is expected to be applicable to several clinical fields.

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