The History of Microsurgery

Eur J Orthop Surg Traumatol. 2019 Feb;29(2):247-254. doi: 10.1007/s00590-019-02378-7. Epub 2019 Jan 10.


Microsurgery is a term used to describe the surgical techniques that require an operating microscope and the necessary specialized instrumentation, the three "Ms" of Microsurgery (microscope, microinstruments and microsutures). Over the years, the crucial factor that transformed the notion of microsurgery itself was the anastomosis of successively smaller blood vessels and nerves that have allowed transfer of tissue from one part of the body to another and re-attachment of severed parts. Currently, with obtained experience, microsurgical techniques are used by several surgical specialties such as general surgery, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, gynecology, otolaryngology, neurosurgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery, plastic surgery and more. This article highlights the most important innovations and milestones in the history of microsurgery through the ages that allowed the inauguration and establishment of microsurgical techniques in the field of surgery.

Keywords: Microsurgery; Orthopaedics; Plastics.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • History, 15th Century
  • History, 16th Century
  • History, 17th Century
  • History, 18th Century
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • History, Ancient
  • History, Medieval
  • Humans
  • Microscopy / history
  • Microscopy / instrumentation
  • Microsurgery / history*
  • Microsurgery / instrumentation
  • Microsurgery / methods
  • Nerve Block
  • Organ Transplantation / history
  • Regenerative Medicine / history
  • Replantation / history*
  • Tissue Engineering / history
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures / history
  • Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation / history*