Enhanced preoperative deep inferior epigastric artery perforator flap planning with a 3D-printed perforasome template: Technique and case report

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Abstract

Optimizing preoperative planning is widely sought in deep inferior epigastric artery perforator (DIEP) flap surgery. One reason for this is that rates of fat necrosis remain relatively high (up to 35%), and that adjusting flap design by an improved understanding of individual perforasomes and perfusion characteristics may be useful in reducing the risk of fat necrosis. Imaging techniques have substantially improved over the past decade, and with recent advances in 3D printing, an improved demonstration of imaged anatomy has become available. We describe a 3D-printed template that can be used preoperatively to mark out a patient's individualized perforasome for flap planning in DIEP flap surgery. We describe this “perforasome template” technique in a case of a 46-year-old woman undergoing immediate unilateral breast reconstruction with a DIEP flap. Routine preoperative computed tomographic angiography was performed, with open-source software (3D Slicer, Autodesk MeshMixer and Cura) and a desktop 3D printer (Ultimaker 3E) used to create a template used to mark intra-flap, subcutaneous branches of deep inferior epigastric artery (DIEA) perforators on the abdomen. An individualized 3D printed template was used to estimate the size and boundaries of a perforasome and perfusion map. The information was used to aid flap design. We describe a new technique of 3D printing a patient-specific perforasome template that can be used preoperatively to infer perforasomes and aid flap design.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1644
Number of pages4
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

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