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Limb Reconstruction

Wounds to the arms and legs can be difficult to treat when tissue or bone loss is significant. SLUCare plastic surgeons provide advanced care in collaboration with other specialists to help patients better manage their condition. 

Our plastic surgeons are trained in the use of microsurgery techniques — using high-powered microscopes to connect the tiniest vessels in the body to re-establish circulation or to enable complex nerve reconstruction. Microsurgery can make all the difference in a surgeon’s ability to save a wounded limb, a severed finger, or to relieve the painful swelling of lymphedema. It’s expert-level care backed by the resources of an academic medical practice. 

Painful residual limbs and phantom limb pain

Newer techniques for preventing or treating pain in amputees include targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR) and regenerative peripheral nerve interface (RPNI). We offer these techniques to optimize limb length and maintain pain-free residual limbs. Our goal is to maximize prosthetic function and comfort using techniques to minimize pain, such as local tissue rearrangement and rerouting of nerve ends. Tissue rearrarangement along with biomatrix extracellular wound-healing products can create a more durable wound, enabling restored mobility or improved upper extremity function.

Lymphedema

Certain medical conditions and breast cancer treatments may cause patients to develop painful, debilitating swelling in an extremity resulting in massive fluid accumulation (edema). SLUCare plastic surgeons offer relief through surgical options that restore normal lymphatic drainage, including lymphovenous bypass (LVB) and vascularized lymph node transfer (VLNT). These procedures ease swelling and pain, making patients more comfortable and helping limbs return to a more normal appearance.

Complex wounds and osteomyelitis

Infections of the bone (osteomyelitis) can damage surrounding tissues creating wounds that do not heal. SLUCare plastic surgeons work together with infectious disease specialists and orthopedic surgeons, to control and treat the infection, then provide stable coverage of the wound. We use the latest advances in surgical flap and regenerative medicine techniques to promote effective healing and stable wound coverage.

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