The Doppler monitor provides audible (primary) and visual (secondary) feedback of blood flow when connected to the implantable Cook-Swartz Doppler Probes and extension cables. By allowing you to see and hear the presence or absence of blood flow, the Doppler system can alert you to flap failure in time to perform a salvage procedure.
When a free-flap failure is suspected, it takes significant resources to verify and repair the compromised anastomosis. This can result in cancelled procedures to make way for a possible salvage procedure.
Because the Doppler system offers objective monitoring at an earlier stage, it has been associated with a decrease in returns to surgery.¹
When compared with clinical monitoring alone, the Doppler system is associated with significantly higher free-flap salvage rates.² ³ A systematic review and meta-analysis by Chang et al. (2016) showed a reported increase of between 57% and 73%.²
The systematic review by Chang et al. showed an overall failure rate of 2.11% for the implantable Doppler groups.² Groups that used clinical monitoring alone had an overall failure rate of 4.21%.² The review concluded that using an implantable Doppler may reduce the number of flap failures by at least 37%.²
1. Wax MK. The role of the implantable Doppler probe in free flap surgery. Laryngoscope. 2014;124(Suppl 1):S1-S12.
2. Chang TY, Lee YC, Lin YC, et al. Implantable Doppler probes for postoperatively monitoring free flaps: efficacy. A systematic review and meta-analysis. Plast Reconst Surg Glob Open. 2016;4(11):e1099.
3. Lenz Y, Gross R, Penna V, et al. Evaluation of the implantable Doppler probe for free flap monitoring in lower limb reconstruction. J Reconstr Microsurg. 2018;34(3):218-226.