Bilateral DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction to a Single Set of Internal Mammary Vessels: Technique, Safety, and Outcomes after 250 Flaps

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: The deep inferior epigastric artery perforator (DIEP) flap is considered the gold standard in autologous breast reconstruction. In bilateral cases, both flaps are often anastomosed to the internal mammary vessels on either side of the sternum. The authors propose a method in which both flaps are anastomosed to only the right side internal mammary artery and vein. METHODS: Between November of 2009 and March of 2018, 125 patients underwent bilateral DIEP flap breast reconstruction with this technique. One flap is perfused by the anterograde proximal internal mammary artery and the second one by the retrograde distal internal mammary artery after presternal tunneling. Patient demographics and operative details were reviewed retrospectively. RESULTS: Two hundred fifty flaps were performed. One hundred fifty-two flaps were prophylactic or primary reconstructions (60.8 percent), 70 were secondary reconstructions (28 percent), and 28 were tertiary reconstructions (11.2 percent). Mean patient age was 46 years, and the mean body mass index was 25 kg/m. Sixty patients underwent radiation therapy or chemotherapy (48 percent). The authors encountered one significant partial failure (0.4 percent) and nine complete flap failures (3.6 percent). The authors did not see a statistically significant predisposition for failure comparing the retrograde with the anterograde flow flaps, nor when comparing the tunneled with the nontunneled flaps. CONCLUSIONS: The authors' results show that anastomosing both DIEP flaps to a single set of mammary vessels is safe and reliable. The authors conclude that the retrograde flow through the distal internal mammary artery is sufficient for free flap perfusion and that subcutaneous tunneling of a free flap pedicle does not predispose to flap failure. CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic, IV.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)554-564
Numero di pagine11
RivistaPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Volume144
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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