We present a pilot report of 'banking' the contralateral hemi-abdominal deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap under the abdominal closure in patients undergoing unilateral autologous breast reconstruction when a hemi-abdominal flap suffices. Four patients undergoing unilateral autologous breast reconstruction with a hemi-abdominal DIEP or superficial inferior epigastric artery flap had their contralateral hemi-abdominal flap left in position, or 'banked,' under their abdominal closure to be used in case of failure. This novel method may be of assistance when a free microvascular hemi-abdominal flap is felt to be threatened or suspect. It provides a life-boat for the younger and experienced surgeon alike, and most importantly, for the breast cancer survivor. Economic analysis of the technique reveals that the contralateral hemi-abdominal flap should be banked more often than intuition alone would suggest.
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