Guide to Microsurgery

Microsurgical techniques involve the suturing together of small arteries, veins, and nerves. These techniques are necessary for certain kinds of reconstruction, including some head and neck cancer, trauma, and breast cancer reconstructions. It enables the transfer of different types of tissue (called a free flap) from one part of the body to another. Surgeons at the Division of Plastic Surgery at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital have specialized training to perform these complex operations.


These surgeries are performed under general anesthesia.

Before Surgery

  • If you are a smoker, stop smoking to aid in healing.
  • You will need a medical clearance from your medical doctor stating that you are at acceptable risk for surgery.


You will most likely stay in the ICU for a few days post-operatively. Depending on the extent of the surgery, you may stay in the hospital from 4 days to two weeks. Your flap will be monitored closely by nursing and physician staff.

Next Steps

If you are in need of a reconstructive procedure, our team is here to help. Call us at (212) 305-3103 or request an appointment online.