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Deep open wounds from burns or accidents can be corrected using tissue flaps in McLean. Flaps are used to cover major tissue loss or wounds that expose bone, cartilage, joints, and other tissues. Unlike skin grafts, flaps contain arteries and veins for blood supply.

Flap surgery requires expertise in plastic and reconstructive surgery that Dr. Cohen can provide. Dr. Cohen is a fully trained board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon whose background includes serving at a trauma center.

What Is Flap Surgery?

Flap surgery involves using tissue from another part of the body, also known as the donor site, to cover up an open wound, or the transplant site.

This tissue includes arteries and veins to allow blood flow in the transplant site. This type of skin transplant is preferred for injuries with exposed bone, cartilage, tendon, joint, major blood vessels, or nerves.

Some examples of injured areas where flap surgery can be beneficial are the ears, head, neck, chest, breast, and lips (as in the case of a cleft lip and palate).

Am I a Good Candidate for Flap Surgery?

The best candidates for flap surgery are individuals who are in good enough physical health to undergo a surgical procedure without heightened risks. People with medical conditions that complicate wound healing may not be considered for a flap surgery.

Individuals who wish to undergo this procedure must avoid alcohol consumption and smoking beforehand. This prevents excessive bleeding during surgery and blood clot formation after the surgery.

Flaps can also help patients who have had cancer surgically removed but are not compatible with skin grafts. Flaps can help return a more natural appearance to a specific part of the body like the breasts or areas of the face.

Your Flap Surgery Consultation

Dr. Cohen will decide whether a flap surgery is suitable for your injury or issue during a consultation. A flap surgery consultation will involve a complete evaluation of your medical history and current prescriptions.

You and Dr. Cohen will have an in-depth conversation regarding potential donor sites and the transplant site. It is important to have realistic expectations when undergoing this procedure, since results will not be the same for all patients.

Be ready to undergo lab tests before the surgery; their results will allow Dr. Cohen to plan a safe procedure for you. Inform Dr. Cohen about any allergies, since this will help in choosing the correct anesthesia for the procedure.

The Procedure

Before the procedure, overnight fasting will be required to prevent vomiting during surgery.

On the day of your procedure, anesthesia will be administered to put you in a deep sleep. Intravenous fluid will be administered to keep you hydrated throughout the process. Once you are unconscious, the incisions will be made.

The flap will be carefully dissected from the donor site and attached to the transplant site. Flaps are selected with similarities to the transplant area. These similarities may include muscle types and whether the skin is hairless or has hair. Once this is complete, the incisions will be sutured and covered in dressings that will not attach to the skin.

The Recovery Process

Recovery time varies from patient to patient depending on the details of their case. Generally, after surgery, patients must stay at the hospital for two to three days to recover. Patients may be asked to walk around multiple times a day to help increase blood flow and speed up healing.

It may take six to eight weeks of recovery before a flap surgery patient can return to normal activities. Avoid lifting heavy objects or doing any strenuous exercise to avoid damaging the healing tissues.

Contact Us to Learn More

For more information regarding tissue flaps in McLean, contact our clinic and schedule a consultation with Dr. Cohen. He will be available to discuss the advantages of flap surgery and your eligibility for the procedure.