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BACKGROUND: Anastomotic microvascular device has gained popularity in reconstructive microsurgery over the last two decades. A systematic literature search has been carried out in the use of the venous coupler device in microsurgery to assess its impact on patency rate in microsurgery. METHOD: Using key words related to the topic, a literature search of major databases was carried out. Selection was undertaken on two level screening. From the literature search 53 potential articles were identified. Of these 13 met both levels of screening for the final critical analysis. RESULTS: A total of 2976 venous anastomoses with coupler device were carried out in the 13 studies with a combined thrombosis in 46 veins reported, giving an average 98.5% patency and a variation in thrombosis rate ranging from 0 to 3%. CONCLUSION: The venous coupler device serves as a powerful instrument in microsurgery by achieving high patency rate. More importantly the data suggests less variation in thrombosis rate compared to hand-sewn venous anastomosis.

Original publication




Journal article


J plast reconstr aesthet surg

Publication Date





752 - 755


3M anastomotic device, Anastomotic device, Microsurgery, Unilink, Venous coupler, Anastomosis, Surgical, Anastomotic Leak, Equipment Design, Equipment Safety, Female, Humans, Male, Microsurgery, Reconstructive Surgical Procedures, Retrospective Studies, Sensitivity and Specificity, Vascular Surgical Procedures, Venous Thrombosis