Original communication| Volume 72, ISSUE 5, P744-748, November 1972

Signs of patency in small vessel anastomosis

  • Robert Acland
    Reprint requests: Robert Acland, Regional Plastic Surgery Centre, Crainesburn Hospital, Bearsden, Glasgow, Scotland.
    From The London Hospital, London, England
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      This paper describes signs which enable the surgeon to determine the success or failure of a microvascular anastomosis by direct inspection. In arteries, the signs concern the way in which the vessel pulsates. The three different types of arterial pulsation—longitudinal pulsation, expansile pulsation, and “wriggling”—are described. Blockage of an arterial anastomosis is shown by forward longitudinal pulsation at the anastomosis. Patency is shown by expansile pulsation or wriggling distal to the anastomosis. Pulsation proximal to the anastomosis can never be taken as a sign of patency. For veins, two reliable tests of patency are described.
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