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Cirugía Plástica Ibero-Latinoamericana

versión On-line ISSN 1989-2055versión impresa ISSN 0376-7892


PEREIRA COVARRUBIAS, Nicolás et al. Portable thermography in Plastic Surgery: the new reconstructive surgeon’s stetho-scope. Cir. plást. iberolatinoam. [online]. 2020, vol.46, n.3, pp.319-328.  Epub 07-Dic-2020. ISSN 1989-2055.

Background and objective.

Thermography can measure the wave length of infrared radiation emitted from the body and calculate its temperature. It is a passive method, noninvasive, that does not emit ionizing radiation. Most studies in Plastic Surgery have researched its utility in localization of perforators and evaluation of burn depth. Portable thermography has the advantage of having a lower cost, and being able to be performed bedside.

The aim of this study is to present our experience with portable thermography and review the uses of this technology in Reconstructive Plastic Surgery.


Descriptive study based on the accumulated experience on the use of portable thermography for smartphones in Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, from January 2017 to December 2019.


We describe the utility of portable thermography in planning flaps based on perforators, flap monitoring, definition of the optimal timing for secondstage operations in vascular delay procedures, as well as assessment of the vitality of tissues in degloving injuries and electrical burns.


Portable thermography is reliable and fast in detecting perforators and defining viable and ischemic/necrotic tissue. It is complementary to other imaging techniques, saving time in mapping or tracing perforators and provides useful information in estimating well-perfused tissue.

Palabras clave : Thermography; Thermal imaging; Free flaps; Perforator flaps; Tissue perfusion.

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