La surveillance infrarouge de la temperature de surface pendant la prise en charge postopératoire des transferts de tissu libre

Translated title of the contribution: Infrared surface temperature monitoring in the postoperative management of free tissue transfers

Paul Papillion, Lesley Wong, Jimmy Waldrop, Larry Sargent, Mark Brzezienski, Woody Kennedy, Jason Rehm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Early identification of failing free flaps may allow for potential intervention and flap salvage. The predictive ability of flap tem-perature monitoring has been previously questioned. The present study investigated the ability of an infrared surface temperature monitoring device to detect trends in flap temperature and correlation with anasto-motic thrombosis and flap failure. METHODS: Postoperative measurement of surface temperature was obtained in 47 microvascular free flaps. Differences in temperature between survival and failure groups were evaluated for statistical signifi-cance using Student?s t test (P<0.05). In addition, a single variable analysis was performed on 30 different flap characteristics to evaluate their predic-tion of flap failure. RESULTS: In total, eight flaps failed. Five of these were re-explored, of which one was salvaged. The three other flaps died a progressive death secondary to presumed thrombosis of the microcirculation despite ade-quate Doppler signals. Temperatures of the flap failure group during the last 24 h yielded a mean difference of 2°C (3.56°F) compared with surviv-ing flaps (P<0.05). The temperature of the failing flaps began to decline at the eighth postoperative hour. Single variable analysis identified prior radiation to be a predictor of flap failure. CONCLUSIONS: A surface temperature measurement device provides reproducible digital readings without physical contact with the flap. Technical difficulties encountered in previous research with implantable or surface contact temperature probes are obviated with this noncontact technique. Flap temperature monitoring revealed a trend in temperature that correlates with anastomotic thrombosis and eventual flap failure.

Translated title of the contributionInfrared surface temperature monitoring in the postoperative management of free tissue transfers
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)97-101
Number of pages5
JournalCanadian Journal of Plastic Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009


  • Free flap
  • Free flap temperature monitoring
  • Free tissue transfer
  • Free tissue transfer postoperative monitoring
  • Free tissue transfer survival
  • Microvascular surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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