Analysis of Sensibility in the DIEP breast reconstruction
The DIEP flap has been considered by many authors as “the definitive standard in breast reconstruction” due to its “achievable shape and consistency, permanence of static and dynamic symmetry, and aesthetic and functional gain in the donor site”. One question regarding this most-innovative type of breast reconstruction such as the DIEP and other free tissue transfer breast reconstructions is the amount of sensation that is restored postoperatively.
Although I, as well as several of the few other surgeons who perform such microsurgical flaps, spare the nerves, there have been no publications to specifically look at the sensibility in breast reconstruction with the non-reinnervated DIEP flap. A recent study followed 30 consecutive women following DIEP flaps and studied the sensation. They found that “for immediate breast reconstruction undergoes satisfactory progressive spontaneous sensitive recovery at 6 and 12 months after surgery” This may significantly save intraoperative time for this already complex procedure and hopefully improve the overall postoperative wellness of the patient with a shorter anesthetic time. Overall, the DIEP flap has become a bright spot in breast reconstruction!
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