Different Hydraulic Constructs to Optimize the Venous Drainage of DIEP Flaps in Breast Reconstruction: Decisional Algorithm and Review of the Literature

Salvatore D'Arpa, Valentina Pinto, Federico A. Giorgini, Maria Elisa Lozano Miralles, Marco Pignatti, Giorgio De Santis, Riccardo Cipriani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background Venous congestion is the most common perfusion-related complication of deep inferior epigastric artery perforator (DIEP) flap. Several hydraulic constructs can be created for venous superdrainage in case of flap venous engorgement or as a preventive measure. These can be classified based on the choice of the draining vein of the flap, either a second deep inferior epigastric vein (DIEV) or a superficial inferior epigastric vein (SIEV), and of the recipient vein, either a vein of the chest or the DIEV. Methods We conducted a comprehensive systematic literature review in Medline, Scopus, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar to find publications that reported on venous congestion in DIEP flap. The keywords used were DIEP Flap, breast reconstruction, venous congestion, supercharging, superdrainage, SIEV, and DIEV. Results Based on the studies found in the literature, we developed an algorithm to guide the surgeon's decision when choosing the veins for the superdrainage anastomosis. Conclusion Several alternatives for venous anastomosis in superdrainage are available. We propose an algorithm to simplify the choice. The use of the ipsilateral SIEV to be connected to a vein of the chest appears to be advantageous. The anatomical position that allows the easiest anastomosis dictates which chest vein to favor.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Reconstructive Microsurgery
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery

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