Design and testing of an optical instrument for skin flap monitoring Articles uri icon

publication date

  • October 2023

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 10


  • 13, 16778

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2045-2322


  • Flap procedures are complex surgical tools widely used in reconstructive surgery. Flap ischemia is one of the most dangerous complications, both during the surgical procedure and during the patient's recovery, which can quickly lead to tissue necrosis (flap loss) with serious medical and psychological consequences. Today, bedside clinical assessment remains the gold standard for flap monitoring, but timely detection of flap ischemia is a difficult and challenging task, so auxiliary techniques are needed to support flap monitoring. Here we present a prototype of a new optical diagnostic tool, based on visible light absorption in diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, for non-invasive, continuous, real-time monitoring of flaps. The proposed approach is assessed by monitoring flap ischemic scenarios induced on pig animal models. The results obtained support that the proposed approach has great potential, not only for prompt detection of ischemia (in seconds), but also for clear differentiation between an arterial occlusion and venous occlusion.


  • Electronics


  • flap procedures; reconstructive surgery; flap loss; flap ischemia; optical diagnostic tool; visible light absorption; diffuse reflectance spectroscopy