Free flaps require mastering microsurgical technique. In addition, breast reconstruction implies accuracy not only in flap survival, but also satisfying aesthetic outcome. Thus, such complex abilities can be acquired by creating experimental models for surgical training.
Materials and Methods
In accordance with relevant anatomy data found in literature, we chose a porcine model and performed a flap similar to the human deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP). Furthermore we developed a surgical protocol for a free flap transfer similar to a double-pedicle DIEP flap. The adipo-cutaneous flap was harvested as a free flap based on the superior abdominal vascularization and microsurgical anastomoses were performed to both the internal thoracic and thoracodorsal vessels.
We were able to harvest a superior epigastric double-perforator free flap with increased similarity to the human DIEP flap. Microsurgical anastomoses were possible to both to the internal thoracic vessels and thoracodorsal vessels, which both proved to have optimal caliber for termino-terminal anastomosis.
Although there are several differences when comparing a swine experimental model with human anatomy, our protocol enhances the possibilities for training in breast reconstruction.
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Published online: October 22, 2019
This paper is part of a Supplement supported by the European Federation of Societies of Microsurgery (EFSM) and the Serbian Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery (SSRM).
© 2019 Published by Elsevier Ltd.