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J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2017 Feb;70(2):222-228. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2016.11.005. Epub 2016 Nov 20.

Comparison of dissection with harmonic scalpel and conventional bipolar electrocautery in deep inferior epigastric perforator flap surgery: A consecutive cohort study.

Author information

1
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 222 Banpo-daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul, 137-701, Republic of Korea.
2
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Uijeongbu St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 271 Cheon Bo-ro, Uijeong Bu-si, Gyeonggi-do, 480-717, Republic of Korea.
3
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 222 Banpo-daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul, 137-701, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: ohdeuk1234@hanmail.net.

Abstract

Reduced tissue damage is a theoretical advantage of using an ultrasonic harmonic scalpel. We hypothesized that the harmonic scalpel would outperform electrocautery in deep inferior epigastric perforator flap surgery, possibly resulting in a shorter operative time and reduced postoperative drainage and pain. Between January and August 2015, 24 consecutive patients were assigned to immediate deep inferior epigastric perforator flap elevation (12 for bipolar electrocautery and 12 for harmonic scalpel). The main outcome variables were total operative time, flap elevation time (starting from the fascia incision), and drainage volume. We compared the number of perforators isolated and the Moon and Taylor classification of the pedicle. Data were tested for normality using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test before analysis. Continuous variables were compared by Wilcoxon rank-sum test. Data were analyzed using the statistical software SAS, version 9.3 (SAS Institute, Cary, NC, USA). Both groups were comparable with respect to clinical characteristics (mean age, body mass index, and flap weights). There was a statistically significant difference in the operative time between dissection with the harmonic scalpel and electrocautery (305.2 vs. 380.3 min, respectively, p = 0.002). The flap elevation time was reduced, particularly when using the harmonic scalpel where its usage seems crucial for dissecting deep inferior epigastric perforators (59.8 vs. 145.9 min, respectively, p < 0.0001). No statistical difference was observed in the drainage volume and length of hospital stay between the groups. We conclude that the harmonic scalpel may be more reliable and efficient as an alternative to electrocautery.

KEYWORDS:

Breast reconstruction; Dissection; Electrocautery; Ultrasonic

PMID:
28017260
DOI:
10.1016/j.bjps.2016.11.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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