What to Expect
If a fluorescence-guided surgery is right for your child, their surgical team will walk you through the steps, from before the operation to recovery.
Generally, in fluorescence-guided surgery, a contrast dye called indocyanine green (ICG) is injected intravenously into a child and automatically goes to anywhere in the body where blood is flowing. In some cases, the dye is injected on the day of surgery, but in other cases it needs to be injected 1-3 days prior to surgery.
Immediately after injection, the dye travels through the bloodstream and can be used to assess whether the tissue has sufficient blood supply or “perfusion” for perfect healing. A short time later (about 30-90 minutes), the dye will concentrate anywhere bile exists in the body
During gallbladder removal procedure, using this approach can help minimize the minor risk of injuring the main bile duct that drains bile from the liver.
For cancer-related surgeries, the dye concentrates in tumor tissues, so surgeons, with the help of special cameras that make the dye “glow,” can easily see exactly which parts of tumor tissue or lesions are cancerous and should be removed. This helps the surgeons remove cancerous tumors and lesions in their primary locations, but also where cancer may have metastasized, or spread, to other organs.
When complex reconstruction is required, either for a traumatic injury, an oncologic defect, or a congenital difference, this technique can be used to identify tissue that has poor blood supply and should be removed. It can also be used to show the zone of perfusion of a blood vessel or confirm the viability of a pedicled flap or a free flap.