Background: The superficial fascial system is routinely closed to alleviate tension at the abdominal donor site after harvest of the deep inferior epigastric artery perforator flap (DIEP) for breast reconstruction. This is thought to decrease rates of wound dehiscence and improve contour postoperatively. There has been no comparative analysis on closure of the superficial fascial system and its effect on donor-site outcomes. Methods: The authors retrospectively evaluated outcomes of DIEP flap breast reconstructions performed between 2017 and 2019. After May of 2018, the surgeons collectively agreed to stop closure of the superficial fascial system. All subsequent patients underwent closure of rectus abdominis fascia followed by skin closure. Patient demographic data and abdominal donor-site comorbidities were recorded between the superficial fascial system closure and no-superficial fascial system closure groups. Representative photographs of patients from the two groups were blindly assessed for scar appearance and contour using previously published grading scales. The results were compared. Results: DIEP flap breast reconstruction was performed in 103 consecutive women. Among patients with abdominal donor-site reconstruction, 66 had superficial fascial system closure and 37 did not. There was not a significant difference in fat necrosis or wound dehiscence between the two groups (p = 0.29 and p = 0.39, respectively). Postoperative abdominal scar and contour were evaluated by 10 independent raters and showed no significant difference between the two groups. Conclusion: Omission of superficial fascial system closure resulted in no difference in wound dehiscence or fat necrosis rates and aesthetic appearance of the abdominal scar and contour. Clinical Question/Level of Evidence: Therapeutic, III.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Plastic and reconstructive surgery|
|State||Accepted/In press - 2021|
ASJC Scopus subject areas