Microsurgery: Cost, Risks, Recovery


Microsurgery is a procedure that uses an operating microscope on parts of the body, typically on the areas of the ear, nose, and throat. By now, this surgery has successfully dissected small blood vessels, nerves and tubes in human body.

Microsurgical techniques have a wide range of application. Several specialists today have applied them to surgical procedures, such as general surgery, ophthalmology, orthopedic surgery, gynecological surgery and otolaryngology.


A good candidate includes:

  • Be in good health
  • Nonsmokers
  • Have positive and reasonable expectations towards the surgery


The exact costs of microsurgery vary depending on its types and many other factors. The cost of one kind of microsurgery called mean free flap operation ranges from $4439 to $6856 in the U.S.


Before a microsurgery is carried out, your plastic surgeon will provide details about the risks that it may involve. You should understand them fully before signing consent forms.

Some of the possible risks that a microsurgery will incur include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Poor healing of incisions
  • Hematoma
  • Anesthesia risks
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Skin loss or tissue necrosis
  • Numbness or other changes in skin sensation
  • Skin discoloration and/or prolonged swelling
  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Recurrent looseness of skin
  • Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis)
  • Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
  • Asymmetry
  • Suboptimal aesthetic result
  • Possibility of revisional surgery
  • Persistent pain


There are a few precautions that you need to keep in mind before having a microsurgery.

  • Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
  • Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements, which can increase bleeding

How it is done

  • During the surgical procedure, medications, usually general anesthesia are applied to your body for your comfort.
  • Then immediately a free tissue transfer follows. The recipient has his or her tiny blood vessels and nerves dissected first. Once a suitable donor is settled, the recipient’s tissue will be separated from the body. The doctor will use an operating microscope to reattach the recipient’s blood vessel.
  • In the final step, your doctor will close your incisions with materials like removable sutures, skin adhesives, or dissolving sutures.


To alleviate your swelling and help your wounds heal, you will be asked to wear an elastic bandage or compression garment. At this time, you will have small, thin tubes placed under your skin. These tubes are used to drain any excess blood or fluid.

As for the setting for recovery, it is preferable to stay in hospital, with a dedicated and skilled nursing worker closely monitoring your blood flow. Free flap monitoring is optional depending on the operation and surgeon preference.

Keywords: microsurgery.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.