Complication rates following immediate breast reconstruction range from 4% to 60%. Mastectomy skin flap necrosis (MSFN) is often the sentinel event leading to secondary complications.Methods:
All patients undergoing immediate reconstruction were enrolled. Upon mastectomy completion, the surgeon visually interpreted the skin flaps, performed laser-assisted indocyanine green angiography (LAIGA), and intervened if needed. Patients were followed for 90 days, documenting skin necrosis, infection, seroma, hematoma, implant loss, and reoperation.Results:
There were 126 patients who had 206 immediate breast reconstructions. The complication rate was 22.3%. The incidence of MSFN was 14.1%. The reoperation rate was 8.7%. There was 1 necrosis-related implant loss. Postoperative surveys were completed on 193 breasts: 137 had visual and LAIGA interpretation of well or adequately perfused, resulting in 5.8% rate of necrosis, 2 reoperations, and no implant losses. Twenty breasts had visual and LAIGA interpretation of marginal or poor perfusion. Sixteen of these underwent intervention. The necrosis rate in this group was 35% with no implant losses. A third group with 26 breasts had adequate visual interpretation with marginal or poor perfusion on LAIGA. Ten breasts had no intervention, and 16 received intervention. The overall necrosis rate in this group was 42.3%, with 4 reoperations for necrosis and 1 implant loss.Conclusions:
LAIGA can more accurately predict complications from MSFN than surgeon assessment alone. When surgeon decision making is supplemented with LAIGA, it reduces the incidence of MSFN, infection, implant loss, and overall unexpected reoperation rate. LAIGA is a valuable adjunct for intraoperative decision making.