A simple method for the control of medicinal leeches

Jay W. Granzow, Milton B. Armstrong, Zubin J. Panthaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The medicinal leech, Hirudo medicinalis, has been widely used in the salvage of microvascular free flaps. Numerous publications have detailed the biology, use, benefits, and risks of leech therapy. One reported significant risk is the risk of leech movement or migration from the surgical site, possibly into body orifices or even deeper into the wound itself. The authors report a simple method of limiting the movement of medicinal leeches from the surgical site, namely, affixing one end of a surgical suture to the leech and tying the free end to a firm object or dressing. This simple method limits the potential range of movement of the leech and reduces the risk of leech migration to unwanted areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-462
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Reconstructive Microsurgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1 2004


  • Leech
  • Microvascular free flap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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