|Microsurgery: Transplantation and Replantation by Harry J. Buncke, MD, et al.|
| Postoperative care concentrates on maintenance of adequate hydration and flap monitoring (see Chapter 37 for monitoring protocols; also see Fig. 35-2). For the first 12 to 24 hours, patients are allowed no oral intake because vascular problems are most likely to occur during the first several hours postoperatively. The morning after surgery, patients usually begin to take clear liquids and rapidly advance to a regular diet. Patients undergoing retroperitoneal or abdominal wall dissection, as in the harvest of iliac crest or rectus muscle flaps, may have a prolonged ileus. In these instances, postoperative oral intake may be delayed for 1 to 3 days.
Drains are maintained until significant drainage ceases.
The patient must be kept in a warm room, free from drafts and changes of temperature, to encourage vasodilation and prevent vasospasm. The area of injury is covered with a heating pad over a sterile towel. Smoking by the patient or anyone visiting the patient is absolutely forbidden. Continuous nasal 02 is beneficial, particularly with a decreasing hematocrit.
Psychologic preparation and care of the patient are also important, particularly for patients who may have sustained severe, mutilating injuries. The pyschologic impact, however, does not always correlate with the extent of physical injury. Regardless of the injury, sympathetic and understanding treatment helps the patient cope with his problem and is an important factor in recovery and rehabilitation after surgery.
| Rehabilitation is tailored to the patient's needs and appropriately monitored and modified (see Chapter 42).
Discharge planning involves the coordination of postoperative physical therapy, nursing, and homemaking care, and it is individualized for each patient (Fig. 35-3) Additionally, some patients live at a great distance from the microsurgical center, and medical management is shared with a local physician to reduce the need for long return trips.
1. Admit to Microsurgery Service.
* Assumes granulating wound; otherwise debridement surgery would be performed first and flap surgery done later.
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