Background: Three-dimensional computed tomographic angiography (3D CTA) can be used preoperatively to evaluate the course and caliber of perforating blood vessels for abdominal free-flap breast reconstruction. For postmastectomy breast reconstruction, many women inquire whether the abdominal tissue volume will match that of the breast to be removed. Therefore, our goal was to estimate preoperative volume and weight of the proposed flap and compare them with the actual volume and weight to determine if diagnostic imaging can accurately identify the amount of tissue that could potentially to be harvested. Methods: Preoperative 3D CTA was performed in 15 patients, who underwent breast reconstruction using the deep inferior epigastric artery perforator flap. Before each angiogram, stereotactic fiducials were placed on the planned flap outline. The radiologist reviewed each preoperative angiogram to estimate the volume, and thus, weight of the flap. These estimated weights were compared with the actual intraoperative weights. Results: The average estimated weight was 99.7% of the actual weight. The interquartile range (25th to 75th percentile), which represents the "middle half" of the patients, was 91-109%, indicating that half of the patients had an estimated weight within 9% of the actual weight; however, there was a large range (70-133%). Conclusion: 3D CTA with stereotactic fiducials allows surgeons to adequately estimate abdominal flap volume before surgery, potentially giving guidance in the amount of tissue that can be harvested from a patient's lower abdomen.
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