TONY Brunetto had never heard of a surgical microscope before falling 2.5m while painting his house.
But significant leg and elbow injuries means he now knows quite a lot about the benefit of its use.
He has thrown his support behind the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation’s call for help to buy the latest technology surgical microscope.
He suffered a broken and dislocated right elbow and compound fracture of his right leg in the accident and previously had only spent a couple of hours in hospital.
“I think I’ve racked up about 18 hours of surgery now including about six hours of plastics. They took a skin surface from my thigh, muscle tissue from the back of my leg and combined it to make what they call a flap, which sits on the wound,” Mr Brunetto said.
“If I had to go to Brisbane to have this done, I would have had to wait longer with a greater risk of infection and complications in my leg, which could have meant much more complicated surgery and possibly not as good an outcome,” he said.
“While I dislike being in hospital, I’m not in Brisbane where my family would be freaking. I don’t know if my mental health would be as good. Everything being able to be done at one regional hospital is magical. It’s life saving for the patient and their family. By the new year I might be able to raise a glass of softdrink.”
Cairns Hospital plastic surgeon Dr Kristian Sørensen said it was very rewarding to see Mr Brunetto have such a positive outcome.
But he said the latest technology microscope would provide even better results.
“The new one that we are seeking will have increased magnification, better optics so we can see smaller vessels and we can see the blood flow in real time, which means we will see how well a particular piece of tissue being prepared for transfer, is doing on the table, rather than waiting to see how it does afterwards” Dr Sørensen said.
The surgical microscope is used by plastic and orthopaedic surgeons at Cairns Hospital on at least a daily basis. Dr Sørensen said the new microscope would help in more complex trauma and elective procedures, for a larger range of patients. It will also be invaluable in teaching the trainees how to do advanced microsurgery.
To support the Foundation’s surgical microscope campaign, click HERE.
Photo: Patient Tony Brunetto, Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe, and Cairns Hospital plastic surgeon Dr Kristian Sørensen.
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