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Handchir Mikrochir Plast Chir. 2011 Apr;43(2):81-7. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1262844. Epub 2010 Sep 6.

[Significance of abdominal wall CT-angiography in planning DIEA perforator flaps, TRAM flaps and SIEA flaps].

[Article in German]

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Klinikum Mitte, Klinik für Plastische, Wiederherstellungs und Ästhetische Chirurgie, Handchirurgie, Bielefeld.


Muscle sparing TRAM flaps and DIEA perforator flaps are standard procedures for breast reconstruction. Recently CT-angiography has been established to evaluate perforator vessels pre-operatively. CT-angiography was introduced to our department in July 2009. In a retrospective analysis data of the last 20 patients (altogether 22 flaps) before CT-angiography introduction and the following 20 (also 22 flaps) patients after introduction of CT-angiography were analysed with regard to the ratio of TRAM to DIEP flaps, and the time required to raise the flaps. The same surgeon raised all flaps. As different surgeons performed dissection of the recipient site, anastomoses, and insertion of flaps, and patients received primary (with sentinel or complete lymphadenctomy) or secondary reconstructions, only the time required harvesting the flap was compared. Thus other influences on raising the flap were eliminated. DIEP flaps were harvested with one single perforator. If perfusion or was considered not to be safe via one single perforator a muscle sparing TRAM flap (ms2) was raised. Angiography was performed using a 64-slice multi-detector CT scanner. CT-angiography did not lead to an increased rate of DIEP flaps in relation to ms2-TRAM flaps. Harvesting time of all flap types with CT-angiography on average was 121 min, without CT-angiography 135 min. This was not significantly different. However, separate analysis of DIEP flaps and ms2-TRAM flaps revealed a significant advantage of CT-angiography based harvesting of DIEP flaps of 26 min: with CT-angiography 101 min vs. 127 min without CT-angiography (p<0.028). There were no significant differences for ms2-TRAM flaps. All scans showed course and branching, diameter and size of the inferior epigastric artery. If evident the superficial inferior epigastric artery (SIEA) was marked. Dosage was 292 mGy-606 mGy×cm dependent on body weight. CTDI was 6.8-14.7 mGy. CT-angiography is a reproducible and observer independent procedure that reliably demonstrates the inferior epigastric artery and its perforating branches. Sensitivity is considered to be 99,6%. Additionally the superficial inferior epigastric artery can be evaluated. In our patients the ratio of ms2-TRAM flaps to DIEP flaps was not affected by introducing CT-angiography. However, DIEP flap harvesting was significantly accelerated. Harvesting of ms2-TRAM flaps was not affected. It remains to be seen whether the observed time advantage is really essential for this operation. Preoperative imaging of the perforators allows establishing a detailed, observable and comprehensible operation strategy, which particularly facilitates surgical training and learning of perforator dissection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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