A perforator flap is a piece of skin and tissue moved from one part of a person’s body to another for reconstruction in plastic surgery. It relies on a single artery and vein for blood supply, and surgery involves reconnecting these tiny blood vessels using microsurgical techniques. There are three phases in the surgery: preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative. Selecting a suitable blood vessel for perfusing the flap is challenging due to variations in anatomy. The surgery’s success depends on reconnecting the vessels carefully to prevent damage. Monitoring blood perfusion in the flap is crucial for early intervention and prevention of complications.
Dynamic infrared thermography (DIRT) has proven to be a simple and reliable imaging technique for all phases of perforator flap surgery. DIRT involves observing temperature changes in the area of interest after applying a thermal challenge, like fan cooling or using cold objects on the skin. The rate and pattern of temperature recovery depend on blood perfusion in the flap. By using DIRT, surgeons have improved the outcomes of perforator flap surgeries.