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Avoidance of complications after the use of deep inferior epigastric perforator flaps for reconstruction of the breast.

Journal article
Authors Jonas Lundberg
Hans Mark
Published in Scandinavian journal of plastic and reconstructive surgery and hand surgery / Nordisk plastikkirurgisk forening [and] Nordisk klubb for handkirurgi
Volume 40
Issue 2
Pages 79-81
ISSN 0284-4311
Publication year 2006
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences
Pages 79-81
Language en
Keywords Adult, Aged, Anastomosis, Surgical, Breast, blood supply, Female, Graft Occlusion, Vascular, prevention & control, Graft Survival, Humans, Mammaplasty, methods, Mastectomy, Middle Aged, Reoperation, Retrospective Studies, Surgical Flaps, blood supply
Subject categories Plastic surgery


We assessed 50 consecutive unilateral deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flaps for breast reconstruction to find out our morbidity and how to avoid it. We routinely dissected the superficial epigastric vein bilaterally and perforators ipsilaterally. If there were insufficient perforators on the ipsilateral side, we then dissected the contralateral side. We made an additional anastomosis to the superficial epigastric vein in cases of venous congestion after reperfusion that could threaten flap survival. One perforator was used on 31 occasions, and the contralateral side was dissected in 16. A prophylactic anastomosis of superficial epigastric vein was done in 3. No flap was lost completely but 5 partially necrosed. A comparison of the first 25 and the second 25 flaps showed more dissections of the contralateral side and more prophylactic anastomoses of the superficial epigastric vein in the second 25. Partial necrosis was less common in the second 25. We suggest that more liberal dissection of the contralateral side and the prophylactic anastomosis of the superficial epigastric vein to lower morbidity and give better cosmetic results.

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