Volumetric Planning Using Computed Tomographic Angiography Improves Clinical Outcomes in DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction

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Background:The present study evaluated outcomes of deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap breast reconstruction using volumetric planning—which is preoperative planning based on volumetric data of the breast and flap estimated from computed tomographic angiography.Methods:A prospective review of three patient cohorts undergoing DIEP flap breast reconstruction from June of 2009 to February of 2015 was performed. Cohort 1 comprised 48 cases in which no volumetric planning was used. Cohort 2 included the next 101 consecutive cases undergoing breast reconstruction according to an algorithm based on volumetric planning. Cohort 3 consisted of the next 109 consecutive cases using a modified algorithm. The inset rate (weight ratio of the inset flap to harvested flap) was estimated during volumetric planning, and specific surgical strategies, such as incorporating multiple perforators, conducting venous augmentation (cohort 2), or harvesting bipedicled flaps (cohort 3), were used with reference to it. Rates of perfusion-related complications were compared.Results:All but one flap survived completely. Fat necrosis occurred in 9.7 percent. Overall, the perfusion-related complication rate was 22.9 percent of cohort 1, 10.9 percent in cohort 2, and 5.6 percent in cohort 3 (p = 0.006). The fat necrosis rates were 19.1, 9.9, and 5.6 percent in cohorts 1, 2, and 3, respectively (p = 0.032). A multivariate analysis demonstrated that volumetric planning had independent benefits for preventing perfusion-related complications (p = 0.003).Conclusion:The authors’ results suggest that volumetric planning can facilitate elaborate planning and reduce perfusion-related complications, enabling reliable breast reconstruction using DIEP flaps.CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:Therapeutic, III.

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