Use of the vascular closure staple clip applier for microvascular anastomosis in free-flap surgery

Charles Cope, Ken Lee, Harvey Stern, David Pennington*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


We report our initial experience using the vascular closure staple clip applier (a nonpenetrating titanium clip applied in an interrupted, everting fashion) for microvascular anastomosis in free-flap surgery. In total, 153 anastomoses were performed in 87 free flaps (174 potential anastomoses) using the vascular closure stapler between October of 1997 and June of 1999. In 66 flaps, both the arterial and venous anastomosis were performed with the clip applier, whereas in 21 flaps only the venous anastomosis was performed using the clips. A total of 146 anastomoses were performed in an end-to-end fashion, and seven were performed end-to-side. Of the 87 flaps there were 53 TRAM flaps, seven bilateral TRAM, five latissimus dorsi, four gastrocnemius, three rectus abdominis, two radial forearm, two fibula, and four Rubens fat- pad flaps. Seventy flaps were used for breast reconstruction, seven flaps for lower limb reconstruction, four flaps for head and neck reconstruction, and six flaps for chest wall/trunk reconstruction. There were no postoperative anastomotic complications of bleeding, thrombosis, or need for revision (100 percent patency rate), with a significantly reduced time for completion of anastomoses. The clip applier is a safe, reliable method for performing microvascular anastomoses, allowing reduced operating time and possible cost savings in free-flap surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-110
Number of pages4
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2000
Externally publishedYes


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