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Name: Catherine A Kraft
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Question:
While watching the television program "Chicago Hope" the other day, I watched a doctor sew someone's ear back on using an elaborate microscope. I was wondering if a surgeon is required to reconnect all the broken blood vessels, and how you would accomplish this? Thanks for your time!



Replies:
I'm not a surgeon, but I think the answer to your question is "no." The blood will flow across the wound (out the end of one blood vessel and into the end of another), although not efficiently. I believe they sometimes use leeches sucking on the end of the reconnected part to help induce flow of blood in the right direction through the area. You probably do need to put the ends of the major vessels near each other, so the distribution of blood flow is reasonably like it was before the injury, and so the vessels can eventually reconnect. But probably the microscope is used mostly to be sure the various layers of muscle, connective tissue, and fat are connected together correctly.

Christopher Grayce



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