Replantation of fingers is a well established procedure following traumatic amputation. Several studies have documented the functional results of replanted digits. Studies have not documented the long‐term (>5 yrs) patency of the microvascular anastomosis in the replanted digit. Duplex imaging, a combination of B‐mode ultrasound and bidirectional Doppler ultrasound has been shown to visualize vessels 1 mm in diameter. Color enhancement of the ultrasound image is now possible. We evaluated 18 patients with 24 replanted fingers to assess vascular patency. A minimum of five years follow‐up was required for inclusion in the study group. Examination showed a patent anastomosis in every case and a Digital‐Brachial Index within normal limits in 71% of the digits. Microvascular anastomoses in vessels as small as 1 mm in diameter remain open as long as 11 years following completion. The sophisticated techniques of color enhanced Duplex imaging makes long‐term evaluation of these procedures possible in a non‐invasive and accurate fashion. The use of such imaging modalities will have an important role in the evaluation of replanted digits and microvascular procedures in general.
ASJC Scopus subject areas