CT angiography prior to DIEP flap breast reconstruction: a randomized controlled trial

Salih Colakoglu, Seth Tebockhorst, Jonathan Freedman, Sara Douglass, Duygu Siddikoglu, Tae W. Chong, David W. Mathes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: CT angiogram (CTA) has become the preferred method for the planning of abdominal-based microsurgical breast reconstruction to gather information about location, number, caliber and trajectory of the abdominal perforators and to decrease overall flap dissection and operating room time. However, the high-level evidence to support its utility has been limited to nonrandomized retrospective and prospective studies. Methods: Patients undergoing deep inferior epigastric artery perforator (DIEP) flap breast reconstruction were prospectively randomized to preoperative CTA and no imaging groups. Patient demographics, operative times, selected row and number of perforators for flap harvest, agreement in perforator selection between radiologist and surgeon, and clinical outcomes data were collected. Two-way ANOVA, Fisher's exact and Student's t-tests were used for statistical analysis. Results: Overall, 37 patients with 63 flaps were included in this study. Seventeen patients had CT scan prior to surgery. Mean age was 50.5 ± 9.6 years. Flap dissection time was significantly shorter in the CT group (150.8 ± 17.8 vs 184.7 ± 25.1 min and p< 0.001). Although overall odds ratio (OR) time was also shorter in the CT group, this only reached a statistical significance in bilateral surgeries (575.9 ± 70.1 vs 641.9 ± 79.6 min and p = 0.038). Hemiabdomen side, selected DIEP row, and the number of dissected perforators did not affect the overall dissection time. Complication rates were similar between the two groups. Conclusion: This prospective, randomized study demonstrates that preoperative CTA analysis of perforators decreases flap harvest and overall OR time with equivalent postoperative outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-51
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Breast reconstruction
  • DIEP flap
  • Imaging
  • Microsurgery
  • Perforator mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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